U.S. Statement as delivered by Jason Mack
Human Rights Council 36th Session
Geneva, September 29, 2017
The United States fully supports the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry and calls attention to its critical work investigating egregious human rights violations and abuses, as well as violations of international humanitarian law. The Syrian government remains responsible for the vast majority of the Syrian people’s suffering. We call on all countries that support accountability and justice for Syrians, if a vote is called, to join consensus on this resolution, and to join us in voting for this resolution.
We welcome the resolution’s strong condemnation of the systematic, widespread and gross violations and abuses of human rights and all violations of international humanitarian law by the Syrian government and its allies, as well as abuses committed by ISIS. We condemn the regime’s continued attacks against hospitals and schools, besiegement, and the forced displacement of civilian populations. We share the Commission of Inquiry’s concern about the impact of the conflict on children, who remain among the most vulnerable.
The list of egregious acts committed by the Syrian government is long and includes unlawful killing; arbitrary detention; torture; sexual and gender-based violence; besiegement; airstrikes on doctors, hospitals, clinics, and places of worship; removal of medical supplies from aid convoys; and use of chemical weapons.
The United States denounces in the strongest possible terms all of these heinous acts. We reiterate our call for a political solution to the conflict by an inclusive process owned and led by the Syrian people, as called for in the UN Security Council resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communique.