Cross-regional Group Statement on Syria
I have the honour to make the following cross-regional statement on behalf of the following 13 delegations: Belgium, Botswana, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Maldives, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland and Austria.
We thank the members of the Commission of Inquiry for their latest report. Their independent and objective information on the events in Syria is of great value to this Council.
We are extremely concerned and dismayed about the findings of the Commission of Inquiry. Since November, when we last met to discuss the situation, more widespread, systematic and gross human rights violations seem to have taken place in Syria. As the Commission of Inquiry concluded, widespread, systematic and gross human rights violations, amounting to crimes against humanity may have been committed.
States have a clear obligation to investigate and prosecute serious crimes. So far these crimes and violations have gone unpunished in Syria, but impunity for grave human rights violations and crimes against humanity is unacceptable.
As Syria is unwilling or unable to fulfil its obligations, we fully endorse and support the call by the High Commissioner for Human Rights to the UN Security Council that the situation in Syria be referred to the International Criminal Court. Individual criminal responsibility must be established. We cannot accept impunity for these violations.