Item 4  - Interactive Dialogue with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

National statement by the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Madam President,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aligns itself with the EU and expresses its deepest appreciation for the Commission of Inquiry that, over the last decade, has consistently and steadfastly laid bare the grim facts of this cruel and cynical conflict.

Since our latest gathering in March, we have seen elections that were neither free nor fair. And at this very moment, crossborder aid is once again at stake. Amidst all the atrocities that continue to take place, one is forced to conclude a deep contempt for human rights, in particular by the Syrian regime.

As the Commission pointed out in its latest report, the regime and other parties intentionally prolong the suffering of hundreds of thousands of families of those forcibly disappeared by withholding information. The Netherlands fully supports the attention brought to this issue. For all those Syrians that have to take the next step in a life where so much is lost, learning about the fate of their loved ones is not optional, it is imperative. And ultimately, it is the only way to accountability and reconciliation. 

Distinguished members of the Commission:

How can we, as international community, strengthen engagement of Syrian civil society on the issue of missing persons, to lay the groundwork for a path to reconciliation?

Thank you.