HRC Urgent Debate on Syria: U.S. Remarks in response to Russian amendment L.3

HRC Urgent Debate on Syria: U.S. Remarks in response to Russian amendment L.3
As delivered by Jason Mack

Human Rights Council 37th Session
Geneva, March 5

All of the Russian amendments before us today are an attempt to divert the Council’s attention from the issue at hand: the continued violations of the ceasefire by the regime and its Russian supporters. In fact, between February 24 and February 28, Russian aircraft conducted at least 20 daily bombing missions in Damascus and eastern Ghouta.

Amendment L.3, put forward by Assad’s Russian backers who bear significant responsibility for the continued attacks in Eastern Ghouta that made this urgent debate necessary, seeks to lay blame for this situation on opposition forces.  Council members should not allow themselves to be distracted by such tactics.

The resolution tabled by the UK is a balanced text that condemns all violations of humanitarian law and all abuses and violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Moreover, it calls on all parties to adhere to the ceasefire, rendering this amendment completely unnecessary.  Armed opposition groups in Eastern Ghouta have already made public commitments to fully implement resolution UN Security Council Resolution 2401. The United States welcomes those commitments and implores all parties to immediately respect the ceasefire.

We urge all delegations to see this amendment for what it is – a distraction – and oppose this amendment and support the resolution as put forth today.