Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council – 26th Session

Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Syria

Australian Statement
18 June 2014

The humanitarian and human rights crisis in Syria continues to worsen despite the international community’s efforts and the work of the Commission of Inquiry to document the violence. Over the past twelve months, the numbers of dead, of refugees, of those internally displaced and of those who need humanitarian assistance, have all grown dramatically.

The parties to the conflict, and particularly the Syrian regime, are failing to protect the lives of civilians. The Syrian regime continues its deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians and its use of starvation as a weapon of war. The Syrian regime has continued to deny access for humanitarian assistance in an arbitrary manner.

Australia was shocked by the accusations contained in the Caesar Report of mass detention, torture and deaths-in-custody. We would appreciate the views of the Commission of Inquiry as to the adequacy of any response by the Syrian regime to these accusations.

Australia strongly supported the proposed UN Security Council resolution referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. Those most responsible for serious international crimes must be held to account.

The conflict urgently needs a political solution in line with the principles agreed in the Geneva Communique. All parties must adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law and to the provisions of UN Security Council 2139 on the humanitarian situation.