Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU General Statement: United Nations 3rd Committee: Draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Syria

New York, 14/11/2019 - 21:56, UNIQUE ID: 191114_22
Statements on behalf of the EU

14 November 2019, New York – European Union General Statement after the vote at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee Draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Syria

Mr Chair,


I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.


We regret that once again the human rights situation in Syria is so serious that it merits a resolution in this Committee. The situation on the ground continues to be absolutely appalling. We condemn the escalation of violence across the country, including in the Northeast of the country, the province of Idlib and the northern part of the province of Aleppo. We recall in this regard the EU Council Conclusions of 14 October 2019.


We condemn the continued systematic, widespread and gross violations and abuses of human rights and all violations of international humanitarian law by all parties to this conflict, particularly the Syrian regime and its allies. We condemn in the strongest terms all attacks, both deliberate and indiscriminate, against civilian populations, and civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals and schools. We also condemn in the strongest possible terms the repeated use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and by Da'esh, as confirmed by the OPCW/UN Joint Investigative Mechanism, and the further use of chemical weapons as confirmed in the most recent reports of the OPCW Fact Finding Mission.


All those responsible for such breaches of international law, some of which may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, must be brought to justice. The EU reiterates its call to have the situation in Syria referred to the International Criminal Court by the Security Council. We reiterate our strong support for the efforts of the different mechanisms established to ensure accountability for crimes committed in Syria, particularly the Commission of Inquiry on Syria and the International Impartial Independent Mechanism, and for the ongoing work to investigate and preserve evidence of grave human rights violations and abuses for possible future criminal prosecutions or a future justice process. The EU urges the Syrian regime to cooperate with these mechanisms and grant them unhindered access to the country


The current hostilities demonstrate once again that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Syria. This is why the EU continues to press for an inclusive, genuine and comprehensive political transition in line with UN Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) and the 2012 Geneva Communique.


We welcome the first meeting of the Constitutional Committee, established in the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 to discuss a future constitutional framework for Syria. It is now crucial that the Committee starts serious discussions in good faith and delivers an outcome in the interest of the entire country and all its people. In that sense it must remain a Syrian-owned and Syrian-led process.


The Constitutional Committee alone will not resolve the Syrian conflict. Tangible and irreversible steps on all aspects of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, under the ægis of the UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen, are needed and will be key to unlocking the only viable solution - a political solution.


The European Union continues to support the work of the Special Envoy and is ready to accompany the developing peace process in Syria in whatever way it can, in close conjunction and coordination with the UN, to help ensuring a brighter future all Syrians deserve.


Thank you. 

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