Item 4: ID with COI on Syria

Item 4: Interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. Joint Statement by the Nordic Countries on 12 March 2019, as delivered by the Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Finland to Geneva, H.E. Ms Terhi Hakala.

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Joint Statement by the Nordic Countries

On behalf of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden, I have the honor to make the following joint statement.

We welcome the report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. We are deeply concerned by its findings and the continued flagrant disregard of international law and systematic abuse and violation of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, overwhelmingly perpetrated by the Syrian regime.

We share the Commission’s deep concern over the situation of civilians, internally displaced persons and refugees and strongly condemn the indiscriminate attacks against civilians, pillaging and persecution as well as continued intense fighting.

We align ourselves with the Commission’s practical recommendations aimed at addressing the complex issue of return.

We will continue to assist efforts aimed at protecting the rights of those displaced, including their right to return to their homes in a dignified, safe and voluntary way when conditions allow. Therefore, we call on the regime to cease hostilities, put an end to arbitrary arrests, detentions and torture, and to ensure unconditional access to humanitarian and medical relief for those in need.

We must reiterate the need to address the widespread use of sexual, and gender based violence, including the Syrian regime’s systematic use of rape in detention, and challenges in accessing civil documentation, education, and medical care, particularly affecting women and children.

We strongly support the work and mandate of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism on Syria (IIIM) in this regard, and call for access of the Commission of Inquiry in Syria and support the extension of its mandate.

Thank you.