I have the pleasure of speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries; Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Denmark.
We would like to begin by underlining our support to the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. We thank the Commission for its dedicated work and its latest report that once again provides disturbing evidence of the horrific atrocities committed by all parties to the Syrian conflict. We strongly condemn the gross human rights violations and abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Government forces and non-State armed groups.
We are especially alarmed by the increasing numbers of cases of sexual violence, in particular against women, uncovered by the Commission, and the continuous deterioration of children’s rights in Syria. Those responsible for such appalling crimes must be held accountable and we urge the international community to stand united to end impunity and bring the perpetrators to justice.
There can only be a political solution to the Syrian conflict. The Nordic Countries will continue to work for this objective and we express our full support to the work of the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura. We are deeply concerned about the influx of foreign fighters into Syria, which is a threat to international security. We urge all parties to the conflict, countries in the region and the international community as a whole to join efforts to secure a peaceful future for Syria and its neighbors.
We support the Commission’s efforts to identify perpetrators and welcome any steps that can lead to a prosecution of those individuals responsible for the crimes committed in Syria, including referral to the ICC by the Security Council. The Nordic Countries are willing to assist the Commission in its further investigations and we are open to requests from the Commission may it find reasons for such.