The ICJ today delivered an oral statement to the UN Human Rights Council urging it to take action on the situation in Eastern Ghouta in the Syrian Arab Republic.
The statement, which was made during an urgent debate at the UN Human Rights Council convened with a view to adoption of a resolution, read as follows:
“The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) urges the Council to adopt a strong resolution today. The resolution should fully reflect the gravity, magnitude and character of the violations and abuses taking place, demand their immediate cessation, and set out specific measures for accountability of those responsible.
The ICJ highlighted these concerns in a statement one week ago. Every further day of delay costs lives. It is imperative that the Council act immediately and that the relevant forces move quickly to implement Security Council resolution 2401 and any resolution of the Human Rights Council. An immediate end to all attacks on civilians and civilian objects is paramount.
We welcome references to accountability, and urge the Council to explicitly call on States to make use of all means available in this regard, including in their national legal systems, as well as at the regional and international level.
All forces on the ground must respect international humanitarian law and human rights law and standards and be held accountable for failures in this regard. In particular, the Syrian Arab Republic and Russian Federation must comply with Security Council resolutions, ensure the effective protection of civilians, and create conditions in which rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief can actually take place.”
The Council did not complete the adoption of the resolution on 2 March, but ultimately did so on 5 March.