General Statement on the Human Rights in the Syrian Republic – HRC37 Resolution L.38

A/HRC/37/L.38

General Statement by the United States of America
as delivered by Jason Mack

Human Rights Council, 37th Session
Geneva, March 23, 2018

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States strongly supports the resolution before us today as drafted.  We urge all members of this Council to support this resolution and the important work of the Commission of Inquiry.  The United States fully supports the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry and calls attention to its critical work documenting egregious human rights violations and abuses.

We welcome the resolution’s strong condemnation of the continued systematic, widespread and gross violations and abuses of human rights and all violations of international humanitarian law carried out by the Syrian government and its allies.  We remind everyone how this conflict began seven years ago, when the government chose to meet Syrians’ peaceful demands for their human rights and fundamental freedoms with torture and death.  Since that time, the conflict has led to the displacement of millions of people and the deaths of hundreds of thousands with no side causing more death and suffering than the Syrian government.  The COI helps to provide the necessary documentation to hold accountable those responsible.

We reiterate our call for a political solution to the conflict that should be an inclusive process owned and led by the Syrian people, as called for in UN Security Council resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communique.

We urge all members of this Council to support the resolution as drafted and vote no on the tabled amendment, which the Russian delegation put forth after failing to participate in either of the two public informals organized by the core group.  Refusing to engage in negotiations and then filing last-minute hostile amendments undermines this Council and makes a mockery of all those who have participated constructively in the negotiations process. Additionally, we reiterate the other concerns, with regards to the substance of the amendment that has been put forward, by other cosponsors in opposition to the Russian amendment.  Therefore, the United States will vote in favor of the resolution and against the amendment, and we call on all Council members to do the same.

Thank you, Mr. President.