UN urges International Community to end hostility towards Syria

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights Council Navi Pillay in Geneva [PHOTO: UNifeed]
Geneva: The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, warned on Monday that the Syrian people will continue to be subjected to untold hardship if the violence in the country is allowed to continue. 

Speaking at the opening of the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Jeremic urged the international community to make the ending of hostility in Syria their top priority. 

He said the situation in Syria constituted "the most horrific humanitarian tragedy of our times and pointed out that "for close to two years, the international community has failed to put a stop to the carnage."

He added that "there is a manifest danger that the violence will simply be allowed to run its course, a scenario that would continue to disproportionately affect the civilian population."

Opening the session, Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, joined Jeremic in criticizing the international community's inaction on Syria. Pillay said her office had pushed repeatedly for the Security Council to refer the conflict to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

Pilay also warned anyone committing serious human rights violations elsewhere in the world must be held accountable.

She said "war crimes continue to be committed in numerous internal conflicts including those continuing in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan and Syria" and "we must continue to nurture and strengthen the system designed to deal with such crimes and violations, and those who commit them."

The Human Rights Council runs until the 22nd of March. Monday's session features a panel of dignitaries and UN officials on the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted in 1993. 
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