Beirut, 7 August 2014 | Download the letter in PDF here
To the Distinguished Members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC):
On behalf of the Aramean population inside and outside of Iraq, we ask your immediate attention, during your emergency meeting concerning Iraq later today, to the alarming situation in northern Iraq that amounts to genocide, ethnic cleansing and other growing crimes against humanity.
In accordance with international law and justice, and in name of hundreds of thousands of displaced Arameans and Yezidis, both of whom who have become a threatened minority in their own homeland, we urge the UNSC to adopt a clear and unambiguous resolution that ensures:
- Urgent humanitarian aid and other necessary forms of assistance to those who are in immediate need of water, food, medicine and shelter in North Iraq.
- Protection and security by a United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission, similar to the one in Mali, according to the legal principle of Responsibility to Protect that is inevitably imposing itself now on the international community in the case of the Aramean people and other minorities of Iraq. Particularly in light of the inability or unwillingness of Iraq’s central government and the Kurdish fighters, who had promised protection to the Arameans and Yezidis before they had abandoned these defenseless populations overnight.
- To name, shame and penalize those countries who, directly or indirectly, condone, finance, facilitate, support or otherwise maintain the infrastructure of ISIS and others listed as terrorist organizations in Iraq and/or Syria; and secondly, to combat and push out ISIS from North Iraq until the Mosul and Nineveh provinces have been fully reconquered, so that all the displaced Arameans and Yezidis can safely return to their ancestral homes.
- The solution to this international catastrophe and humanitarian disaster includes the Aramean right of self-determination and self-administration in the Nineveh Province, in line with article 125 of the Iraqi Constitution. Ultimately, full assistance needs to be given to the displaced victims in order to remigrate to and rebuild their ancestral homes and houses of worship.
- We favor a lenient asylum policy for those in urgent need of help, but in no case do we support any decisions that may expedite the mass exodus of the native Christians of the Middle East, such as opening the borders of certain countries who expressed their readiness to receive many thousands of Arameans, as proposed more than once in the last years by France. In any case, the solution of the international community must ensure the survival of the native Aramean people and Aramaic cultural heritage of Iraq and, for that matter, of Syria.
We trust that the distinguished Members of the Security Council take these demands of the Aramean people into sincere consideration during its meeting later today.
World Council of Arameans (Syriacs)
(Photo: Eddie Potros)