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Statement by H.E. Sven Mikser at the Ministerial Meeting on Building the Foundation for Justice in Syria, 21 September 2017

21.09.2017

Noting the findings of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, we have witnessed the systematic violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law. Continuing use of chemical weapons against civilians, deliberate attacks targeting schools, hospitals and other protected civilian objects, using forced displacement, and starvation as a weapon of war, [what have caused tremendous human suffering and loss of life], may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
 
This is the result of political standoff in the UN Security Council which has lead to a culture of impunity. Estonia’s long-standing position has been that the permanent members of the Council should voluntarily and collectively commit themselves to not using their veto to block Council action aimed at preventing or ending situations involving mass atrocity crimes. To ensure accountability for international crimes committed in Syria, we reiterate our support for referral by the UN Security Council of the situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC), in order to guarantee that all victims would receive justice.

In prospects of justice for Syria, and to ensure respect for international criminal law, we call on parties involved in the conflict to cooperate fully with the international, impartial and independent mechanism to assist the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for committed war crimes in the Syrian Arab Republic. I would like to wish success to Mrs. Catherine Marchi-Uhel on her efforts to investigate the most serious crimes committed in the Syrian Arab Republic; and I would like to inform that Estonia supports the work of mechanism with 25 000 USD.
 

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