Next week, the UN Security Council is poised to vote on a resolution to approve referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Hivos, together with over one hundred civil society groups from around the world, has lent its support and signature to a statement urging the UNSC to indeed refer the situation in Syria to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
More than three years into a conflict that has claimed well over 100,000 lives, according to the UN, atrocities are being committed with complete impunity by all sides in the conflict, with no end in sight.
The latest report from the UN’s Syria Commission of Inquiry, published on 5 March, found that all sides to the Syria conflict continued to commit serious crimes under international law and held that the Security Council was failing to take action to end the state of impunity. The Commission recommended that the Security Council give the ICC a mandate to investigate abuses in Syria.
As a permanent international court with a mandate to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity when national authorities are unable or unwilling to do so, the ICC was created to address exactly the type of situation that exists in Syria today. Though the court’s work can be only one piece of the larger accountability effort needed in Syria, it is a crucial first step.
Hivos therefore joins the call to strongly urge the Security Council members to act to fill the accountability gap and end the state of impunity in Syria.
You can read/download the entire statement from the documents box to the right.