Five UNSC members call for ICC probe into Syrian war crimes

Saturday, January 19, 2013
Following closed-door consultations, the Permanent Representatives of (left to right) Australia, Gary Quinlan; United Kingdom, Mark Lyall Grant; France, Gérard Araud; Luxembourg, Sylvie Lucas; and the Republic of Korea, Sook Kim address the press on the situation in Syria.
[UN Photo/Evan Schneider] 
New York: Five members of the UN Security Council has called for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate possible crimes against humanity in Syria.  But British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said that at the moment the council did not have the votes necessary to make that happen.

The Ambassadors of Australia, France, Luxembourg, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom made a joint statement following a briefing from Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner of Human Rights and Valerie Amos, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Noting the "dramatic" rise in the death toll in Syria and the "silence of the Security Council" British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said, "We felt that we must speak out on the absolute need for accountability and to send a clear message that the international community is not turning a blind eye to the atrocities being committed in Syria".

While sharing the group's belief that the ICC had a role to play in this issue, Grant said that in the case of a referral the Council "should play a role in supporting the action of the ICC".

Grant said that while the Security Council was not united due to one member's disagreement with such referral to the ICC, there were others did support it, but he also said that there was no plan B in terms of the ICC,

Grant also said, "Clearly now it is for the Security Council to take up its responsibilities. We as the five members of the Security Council are willing to do so."

Earlier and following her briefing to the council members Navi Pillay said that her mandate as High commissioner was to bring to the council members attention how victims saw the situation and, she said "certainly they see the situation as United Nations is not carrying out its responsibility to protect victims". She added that she would continue to make the call for referral to the International Criminal Court.

Valerie Amos, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator who also briefed the council told reporters that although she was keen to scaling up the humanitarian efforts in Syria she could only do that if there were access to government and opposition-controlled areas.

She also pointed out that there was "no area where we have been able to meet the range of needs that have been identified". -UNifeed
Next Post »