On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the start of the conflict in Syria, Italy’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and International Organisations in Geneva, Ambassador Gian Lorenzo Cornado, participated today in a high-level virtual event on the margins of the 46th session of the Human Rights Council entitled “Syria: accountability after ten years”, co-sponsored by Italy and organised by the Permanent Representation of the United Kingdom in Geneva. It was also attended by representatives from the Netherlands, Turkey, Germany, France, Qatar and the European Union, as well as the Chairperson of the International Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, the Chairperson of the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism on Syria and representatives of two Syrian civil society organisations.
The event provided an opportunity for a discussion on the progress made in establishing accountability for the violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law that have occurred in Syria over the past decade, the challenges faced, the mechanisms for monitoring and punishing those responsible for such crimes, and the role of national and international jurisdictions and of the Human Rights Council.
In his speech, Ambassador Cornado underlined the gravity of the Syrian conflict, both from the perspective of the high humanitarian toll that the population has paid over this decade and the scale of the serious human rights violations, crimes against humanity and war crimes that have been committed, together with the continued attacks against civilians, the repeated violations of obligations under international humanitarian law and the impediments imposed on the enjoyment of fundamental rights in all parts of Syria.
Ambassador Cornado reiterated that it is of the utmost importance to fight impunity and to ensure that whoever is guilty of certain crimes is held criminally accountable, stressing that impunity fosters divisions, tensions and undermines the population’s confidence in a future of respect for the rule of law and peaceful coexistence. He also reaffirmed that ensuring the criminal accountability of the perpetrators of such crimes was a cornerstone of any national reconciliation effort and a key step towards the full implementation of Security Council resolution 2254.