The ICJ calls on the Human Rights Council to fill the accountability gap in Syria

The ICJ today addressed the UN Human Rights Council in the Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.

The statement reads as follows:

“Madam President,

The ICJ strongly supports the crucial work of the Commission of inquiry’ on Syria and welcomes the extension of its mandate (A/HRC/RES/46/22).

Over ten years, the Commission of inquiry has documented patterns of: summary executions; arbitrary detentions; enforced disappearances; torture, including sexual violence; indiscriminate attacks against civilians; starvation as a method of warfare; pillage; hostage-taking; murders; extermination and other human rights abuses amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity by government and allied armed forces, as well as by armed opposition groups.

Moreover, despite the COI attesting to a decade of impunity for these serious crimes under international law, the UN Security Council continues to abdicate its responsibility to ensure accountability for them. This Council should urge the Security Council to take all effective measures at its disposal to address the Syrian conflict, including by referring the situation to the ICC.

In the meantime, the ICJ calls upon Member States and this Council to act individually and collectivity to fill the accountability gap in Syria, including by cooperating with and supporting the COI and the IIIM, by ensuring that these mechanisms receive the necessary resources and staffing; and by searching for, apprehending, prosecuting and punishing those responsible for the atrocities committed in the country using universal and other extra-territorial jurisdiction.

I thank you.”


Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a), t: +41797499949

AdvocacyNon-legal submissions