Fastafulltrúi Svía flutti í dag ávarp fyrir hönd Norðurlandanna, þ.m.t. Íslands, í umræðu um ástand mannréttinda í Sýrlandi.
Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry
on the Syrian Arab Republic
42nd session of the Human Rights Council
17 September 2019
Joint Statement by the Nordic Countries
I have the honor of delivering this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and my own country Sweden. We thank the Commission of Inquiry for its report.
In late July, High Commissioner Bachelet rang the alarm at the apparent international indifference to the rising civilian death toll caused by a succession of airstrikes in Idlib and other parts of northwestern Syria. The Syrian regime and the Russian Federation have continued to hit medical facilities, schools and other civilian infrastructure essential to the survival of the civilian population. As the Commission of Inquiry has stressed, the attacks on medical facilities may amount to war crimes.
We fully share the concerns of the High Commissioner. The continued flagrant disregard for international law in Syria has continued unabated and we condemn in the strongest possible terms the continued systematic and brutal attacks against civilians. Women and girls have been affected disproportionally by rampant sexual and gender-based violence and exploitation.
We reiterate our call on the parties to the conflict, in particular the Syrian regime and its allies, to immediately cease hostilities and to live up to their obligations under international law, including IHL and international human rights law.
Deliberate attacks against civilians are war crimes. Those who have ordered them or carried them out must be held accountable. In this context, we reaffirm our strong support for the Commission of Inquiry, as well as for the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism – the documenting of serious violations and abuses must continue so that justice can be achieved. Atrocities and serious violations of international law cannot be subject to impunity.
Moreover, we fully support the efforts of Special Envoy Geir Pedersen and his efforts towards a political settlement in line with UNSC resolution 2254.
In conclusion, we would like to ask the Commission if there are any updates on the investigations into reports of rape and sexual violence against women, including returnees, men and LGBTI individuals that have been allegedly perpetrated in areas controlled by the Syrian regime?
I thank you.