UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL - 51TH SESSION

Interactive dialogue with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

Statement of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Mr President, esteemed members of the Commission,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aligns itself with the EU and expresses its deepest appreciation for the Commission of Inquiry.

Over a decade ago, a tragic, cruel fate was imposed on the Syrians, when a ruthless regime decided to crack down on its own people. Since then, prospects for a better future have been bleak, if not pitch-black, and for most Syrians human rights violations have become part of their daily life.

These violations have taken every imaginable form over the years. Violations through bombing campaigns and chemical attacks. Through the politicization of desperately needed aid by the regime and its allies, during the worst economic and humanitarian crisis since the start of the conflict. Through the continued denial of the basic right of millions of Syrians to return home in a dignified and safe manner – if there still is a home to return to. These violations continue until today. In government-controlled areas, arbitrary detention, including torture and ill-treatment, is still taking place systematically. Violence is flaring up, with a real risk of return to larger-scale fighting. And millions of Syrians are still kept in the dark about the fate of their missing loved ones. 

Distinguished members of the Commission:

With a view to the recommendation in your latest report regarding the creation of an independent mechanism for the missing and the Secretary-General’s recent report: what should be the next step, in your opinion?

Thank you.