The Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Vincenzo Grassi, took the floor today at the Interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, chaired by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, during the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council.
Italy expressed its solidarity with the Syrian people affected by the recent earthquakes and its hope that those tragic events will lead to a sustained humanitarian truce. In this regard, it referred to the statements of the UN Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen, by highlighting that the earthquakes can be a turning point and the logic of positive steps adopted in the emergency could be applied to the political front as well.
Ambassador Grassi then recalled that the Syrian people have been suffering systematic human rights violations on a massive scale and condemned the attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructures perpetrated in breach of International Humanitarian Law. He reaffirmed Italy’s deep concern about the large number of reports of arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearances, as well as sexual and gender-based violence that continue unabated in Syria. He also supported the call for a new humanitarian mechanism for clarifying the fate and whereabouts of missing persons, and urged all parties involved to cooperate with it once established.
Ambassador Grassi therefore underlined the need to fight against impunity and hold accountable all the perpetrators of gross human rights violations. Lastly, while expressing continuous support for the work of the Commission of Inquiry and the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) on Syria, which is essential to ensure that crimes committed in the country do not go unpunished.
Read the full statement here.