Urgent Debate on the Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic

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Urgent Debate on the Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic


On 28th February 2012 the Human Rights Council (HRC) held an urgent debate on the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic which was continued today, 1 March 2012, and concluded with the adoption of Resolution A/HRC/19/L.1/Rev.1 (37 Member States in favour, 3 against and 3 abstentions). This Urgent Debate was preceded by three special sessions of the HRC on the situation in Syria.

The debate itself was opened by the President of the UN General Assembly, Mr Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanethem Pillay, who both condemned the dire human rights situation in the country. The High Commissioner called upon the Syrian authorities to cooperate fully with international mechanisms, including Mr. Kofi Annan, joint Special Envoy of the Secretary-General and the League of Arab States to Syria, and allow an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights field presence in Syria. Many Member States expressed their grave concern about the atrocities committed by the Syrian regime.

The resolution drafted by 58 states “strongly condemns the continued widespread and systemic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities” and deplores the brutal actions of the Syrian regime over the past 11 months. The Council calls upon the Syrian government to immediately put an end to all human rights violations and attacks against civilians as well as to permit humanitarian agencies to deliver vital relief goods and services to civilians affected by the violence. It stresses the importance of ensuring accountability and the need to end impunity and hold to account those responsible for human rights violations. Moreover, the Council remains to take further action following the forthcoming interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on the situation of human rights in Syria.

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