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Assemblea Generale – Meeting informale sulla situazione dei diritti umani in Syria

Intervento pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Stefano Stefanile, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Meeting Informale della plenaria per il briefing sulla situazione dei diritti umani in Syria. —


Thank you Mr. President.

We welcome this opportunity to further discuss the situation of human rights in Syria and we are grateful to ASG Kehris for introducing and moderating this panel and to the panelists for their contribution. We listened attentively to what they said and we found their testimony very heartbreaking and extremely important.

We subscribe to the statement of the European Union and would like to add a few remarks of our own. As confirmed by today’s briefers, the tragedy that has been unfolding in Syria for almost a decade has taken an exceptionally heavy toll on the Syrian people, in terms of loss of lives, systematic violations of human rights, vast destruction of its livelihood and infrastructure and massive displacement of millions of civilians. This enormous suffering is now further aggravated by the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

In order to achieve a sustainable peace, it is of paramount importance to make sure that there is no impunity for human rights violations and abuses committed in the Country. All the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity and those who are profiting from the war must be held accountable and duly prosecuted. Italy will continue to support all international actions to fight impunity and to gather evidence with a view to future legal action, including by the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria and the Commission of Inquiry. It is a matter of principle and justice, an inherent part of any reconciliation process in a Syrian society that has been torn apart by years of conflict.

In this regard, I wish to reiterate Italy’s longstanding support for UNSCR 2254, which outlines the main features of any credible political solution. Without a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process, we cannot hope to bring about a durable peace, curb regional instability, and prevent the resurgence of the terrorist threat. We commend the efforts by the UN Special Envoy Pedersen to give new momentum to the Constitutional Committee, to advance on important files such as the release of detainees and missing persons, and to foster dialogue between key players, both inside and outside the Country, to pave the way to a mutual understanding and a reconciliation.

At the same time humanitarian support in the entire Syrian territory and in the neighboring countries hosting large Syrian communities, remains for us a priority. Every year Italy commits approximately 45 million euros to initiatives in response to the Syrian crisis both in Syria and in neighboring countries hosting large communities of Syrian refugees. This effort will continue also in 2021 and in this respect, we welcome the announcement that the V Brussels Conference will take place on March 3Oth. In addition to the further mobilization of funds, it will be particularly important to ensure an unhindered humanitarian access to all parts of the Country by renewing and broadening the cross-border resolution in the UNSC in July.

As pointed out in the intervention of the EU Representative we also continue to uphold the position that assistance in the economic reconstruction of Syria will be possible only when a credible political process is underway. Within such parameters Italy will continue to do its utmost to provide aid and support to the Syrian population.

I thank you Mr. President.