GENEVA, 30th September, 2016 (WAM) – Adopting a resolution on the human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, the Human Rights Council strongly condemned the grave deterioration of the human rights situation and the indiscriminate or deliberate targeting of civilians as such, in violation of international humanitarian law, and acts of violence that foment sectarian tensions.

The resolution was adopted by a vote of 26 in favour, seven against, and 14 abstentions at the conclusion of Council’s regular thirty-third session.

Expressing its deepest concern about the findings of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, the council deplored the lack of co-operation by the Syrian authorities with the Commission of Inquiry.

The resolution while expressing full support for the efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, with a view to full implementation of the Syrian political process that establishes credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance, in accordance with the Geneva communique and consistent with Security Council resolutions, urged the Special Envoy to continue pushing the parties to negotiate a political transition, demanding that all parties to the cessation of hostilities in the Syrian Arab Republic fulfil their commitments, and urging all Member States, especially the members of the International Syria Support Group, to use their influence with the parties to the cessation of hostilities to ensure fulfilment of those commitments and the full implementation of those resolutions, to support efforts to create conditions for a durable and lasting ceasefire.

The resolution strongly condemned the airstrikes on 19th September 2016 on a United Nations/Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid convoy in rural Aleppo, which may constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law, supported the call by the United Nations for an immediate, impartial and independent investigation into this incident, and called upon all parties to the conflict to respect all humanitarian organisations, including personnel, facilities and other relief assets.

The resolution demanded that the Syrian authorities co-operate fully with the Human Rights Council and the Commission of Inquiry by granting it immediate, full and unfettered access throughout the Syrian Arab Republic.

It strongly condemned the continued systematic, widespread and gross violations and abuses of human rights and all violations of international humanitarian law by the Syrian authorities and affiliated militias, including foreign terrorist fighters and those foreign organisations fighting on behalf of the Syrian authorities, in particular Hezbullah, and expressed deep concern that their involvement further exacerbates the deteriorating situation in Syria, including the human rights and humanitarian situation, which has a serious negative impact on the region.

Also it strongly condemned the terrorist acts and violence committed against civilians by Daesh, al-Nusrah Front or other terrorist organisations, designated by the Security Council, and their continued gross, systematic and widespread abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law.

Further, the resolution strongly condemned all attacks against the Syrian moderate opposition, and called for their immediate cessation, given that such attacks benefit Daesh and other terrorist groups, such as alNusrah Front, and contribute to a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

Also, the resolution expressed its profound concern at the findings of the Commission of Inquiry that violence has reached unprecedented levels in Aleppo and other parts of the Syrian Arab Republic and that civilians have suffered profoundly from aerial and shelling bombardments, primarily by regime forces and its supporters.

It demanded the immediate release of all persons arbitrarily detained, including women, children, human rights defenders, humanitarian aid providers, medical personnel and journalists.

The resolution strongly condemned any use of any toxic chemical, such as chlorine, as a weapon in the Syrian Arab Republic, noting with outrage that civilians continue to be killed and injured by toxic chemicals used as weapons in Syria.

It strongly condemned all use of starvation of civilians as a method of combat, and all besiegement directed against civilian populations. It also condemned the Syrian authorities’ indiscriminate use of heavy weapons and aerial bombardments, including cluster munitions, incendiary weapons, ballistic missiles and barrel bombs, and called for an immediate end to all attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including medical facilities.

The resolution stressed the need to promote accountability for those responsible for the unlawful killings of civilians, and also stressed the importance of holding to account those responsible for all violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of international human rights law.

The resolution demanded that the Syrian authorities facilitate, and all other parties to the conflict do not hinder, the full, immediate and safe access of the United Nations and humanitarian actors, including too hard-to-reach and besieged areas, in accordance with Security Council resolutions and called upon Member States to fully fund the United Nations appeals.

It demanded that all parties work urgently towards the comprehensive implementation of the Geneva communique, including through the establishment of an inclusive transitional governing body with full executive powers, which shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent while ensuring the continuity of governmental institutions.