General Comment on the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on the “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic”
Statement as Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
Delegation of the United States of America
Human Rights Council – 49th Session
April 1, 2022
Thank you, Mr. President.
The U.S. strongly supports the mandate renewal for the Commission of Inquiry (COI). The COI has provided excellent and strong reporting despite the ongoing refusal by the regime to engage or provide access. We urge all delegations to vote yes on the resolution should a vote be called.
The resolution, which coincides with the 11th year anniversary of the violent repression of the peaceful uprising in Syria serves as a reminder to all delegations of the immense suffering, displacement and trauma Syrian civilians have endured and continue to endure.
As the COI reported, nearly 7 million have been internally displaced and approximately 7 million are refugees. That is over half of the pre- war Syrian population. Unfortunately, Syria remains unsafe for return as the COI has reported returnees are vulnerable to retaliation by the regime including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture, sexual violence, confiscation of property, and forced conscription.
The resolution rightly addresses a range of human rights abuses and violations committed in Syria including but not limited to: the repeated use of chemical weapons, torture and ill-treatment in detention facilities, particularly those run by the Syrian military intelligence where the COI and Syrian civil society have repeatedly documented violations. The resolution asks the Syrian authorities to clarify the fate and whereabouts of the hundreds of thousands of missing in Syria, including the 344,684 persons the regime claims received amnesties.
We underscore the need for an inclusive political solution to the Syrian conflict that includes the release of all arbitrarily detained Syrians.
The U.S. continues to stand with the Syrian people in demanding accountability for those responsible for human rights abuses and violations.