I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries.
We thank the Commission for the oral update. The relentless scale of violence and destruction shocks the conscience – 220,000 killed, 7.6 million internally displaced and 4 million refugees.
We strongly condemn the human rights violations and abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by all parties to the conflict. We hold the Syrian regime and its affiliates particularly responsible for the majority of violations and crimes against humanity in Syria. The primary driver of the conflict in Syria continues to be the Assad-regime.
We also support the Commission’s effort in identifying the perpetrators and welcome any steps that can lead to a prosecution of those responsible, including referral to the ICC by the Security Council.
Tragically, the vast majority of victims in Syria are innocent civilians, notably women and children, who continue to pay a terrible and disproportionate price. We condemn the regimes’ ongoing use of barrel bombs as well as the strong evidence showing that the regime has used chlorine bombs against its own people.
We urge the Commission to continue documenting cases of sexual and gender-based violence committed by all parties to the conflict. We further wish to highlight Security Council resolution 1325 and subsequent resolutions that recognize the importance of women's participation in conflict resolution and building sustainable peace.
All parties must intensify their efforts towards a political solution and the Nordic countries will continue to work for this objective. Full and equal participation of women needs to be ensured in any political solution and we would appreciate having the Commission´s views on how best to achieve this.
We strongly condemn all violations and abuses of the rights of children, which continue to be grossly violated on a daily basis in Syria by regime forces, as well as non-state armed groups. It is our common responsibility to ensure that this conflict will not result in a lost generation. We urge the Commission to continue reporting on this pressing topic.