National statement by the Kingdom of the Netherlands

ITEM 4: Interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

Madam President,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aligns itself with the EU statement and expresses its deep appreciation for the Commission’s work, exemplified through two recent reports.

The reports show the widespread and systematic violations of human rights, in particular by the Syrian regime. Besieged cities, indiscriminate attacks on basic infrastructure and the withholding of humanitarian aid tell the gruesome story of innocent civilians trapped in a cycle of violence and injustice. In the Commission’s words: the horrors of the conflict leave no family untouched and will impact mental health for generations to come.

After 10 years, the humanitarian needs in Syria are higher than ever before. Still, even amidst a global pandemic, crossborder aid is once again under pressure. We call on all parties involved to guarantee equitable distribution of aid and vaccines to every person, including the most vulnerable groups.     

The Commission rightly points out that the assault on Syrian civilians is also an assault on the fundamental norms of human rights and humanitarian law. In this regard, the Netherlands reiterates its initiative to hold the Syrian regime to account for these violations, especially torture. We welcome the efforts by Canada to do the same.

Distinguished members of the Commission:

Several Syrian organisations have come together through the Truth & Justice Charter. What can individual Member States do more to strengthen the victim-centred approach?

Thank you.