Item 4 - Interactive Dialogue with COI on Syrian Arab Republic. JST Netherland . (18.03.2024)

Human Rights Council 55th session. 

Item 4 - Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Syrian Arab Republic of Syria.

Joint Statement by Netherland. 

Mr. President,

I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of a cross-regional group of countries.

For thirteen years, the international community has called out Syria for its flagrant breaches of international human rights law. Regrettably, Syria has denied wrongdoing and continues to violate international law with impunity.

These circumstances led the Netherlands and Canada to invoke the responsibility of Syria for breaches of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and eventually to institute proceedings against Syria before the ICJ. The ongoing human rights violations in Syria cannot remain without consequences and a lasting political solution in Syria is possible only if the perpetrators are held to account and victims obtain justice.

We welcome the ICJ’s provisional measures, requiring Syria to prevent acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment and ensure no one under its control commits such practices, and to preserve evidence related to such acts. The provisional measures are a first step towards much needed accountability and justice for the people of Syria.

We strongly condemn reports of sexual and gender-based violence, affecting the lives of millions of women, girls, and boys across the country. We further condemn Syria’s continued obstruction of families’ efforts to ascertain the fate of their detained loved ones and relatives.

Distinguished Commissioners, the question remains, how can we better co-operate with partners and Syrian civil society to identify ongoing violations, including torture and detention in Syria?