This afternoon’s meeting sought to underline the importance of ensuring fair and impartial criminal accountability for the serious and ongoing crimes committed against civilian population throughout the course of the Syrian Conflict. Many United Nations member states have supported this issue, however in May 2014, UN Security Council resolution to give International Criminal Court (ICC) a mandate in Syria was blocked by both China and Russia. This has resulted in an ‘accountability vacuum’ that has often been overlooked, and has consequently fueled further grave abuses by all parties to the conflict. Now, for the first time in the five years of the conflict, the ‘shield of impunity is beginning to crack’: several European countries including Sweden, Germany, France and Finland are implementing universal jurisdiction, making it possible to undergo processes of investigation and prosecution for individuals linked to crimes in Syria. Deputy representatives of these European countries brought attention to these judicial developments and the ongoing efforts taking place. They highlighted the significance of bringing justice to the victims of these crimes to ensure stability and peace in Syria and emphasized the need for all member states to commit to answering the question of accountability.
Meeting: First Cracks in the Syrian Impunity Wall: National Prosecutions Underway in the Courts of Third Party States for Serious Crimes committed in Syria (co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Liechtenstein and Qatar)
Date/Time/Location: June 21, 2016; 13:15 – 14:30; Conference Room 7
Speakers: H.E. Ms. Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Deputy Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Christian Wenaweser, Deputy Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Olof Skoog, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Heiko Thoms, Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations; Mr. Alexis Lamek, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations; Mr. Fadel AbdulGhani, Chairman of the Syrian Network for Human Rights
Written By: Lena Courcol