Item 4: High-level panel discussion on HR in Syria

JOINT STATEMENT on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and Norway, 14 March 2017

Mr President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and my own country Norway.

We are deeply alarmed and frustrated by the brutal horrors we have witnessed in Syria for six years and condemn the systematic human rights violations committed by the Syrian regime. We reiterate our call to ensure accountability for all violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law, including the widespread attacks on civilians, by all parties.

To this end, the Nordic countries co-sponsored General Assembly resolution 71/248, which established the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to assist in the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under international law, committed in the Syrian Arab Republic. By establishing this mechanism we signal that impunity is not tolerated and that war crimes and crimes against humanity must not go unpunished.

The Nordic countries are staunch supporters of the UN-led political process. It is key that the parties to the conflict constructively commit to the process under the framework of Security Council resolution 2254. Addressing accountability is integral to ensuring reconciliation and sustainable peace in Syria.

Lastly, we fully support the UN’s Commission of Inquiry and urge the Syrian regime to cooperate fully with the Commission and grant it unhindered access to all of the country.

Thank you