19September2017

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION IN SPECIAL CONSULTATIVE STATUS WITH THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL OF THE UNITED NATIONS

WCA submits statement to COI on Syria

On 15 March 2016, the interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Syrian Arab Republic commenced. During this segment of the 31st Session of the UN Human Rights Council, states, NGOs and other stakeholders were invited to share their statements on the situation in the country. The WCA presented the COI and the Members of the Human Rights Council the statement below.

COI

We thank the Commission of Inquiry for its ongoing work and applaud the efforts of those who refuse to give up the struggle for a political solution to this horrible conflict. Yesterday, the Syrian peace talks continued here in Geneva. After five bloody years, we deeply hope that the end is finally in sight.

On behalf of Syria’s vulnerable ethno-religious minorities, we deplore the fact that once again we are not granted to participate as an independent voice in the peace talks. Talking about a future Syria and the rights of its minorities, without recognizing them or allowing them to participate in discussions about the future of their homeland, their society and their children, cannot be the right way forward.

In order to preserve Syria’s endangered ethnic and religious mosaic, we ask the Commission of Inquiry, the UN Member States and our fellow NGOs to bring the following five critical points to the immediate attention of the UN Security Council and to the rest of the international community:

  1. Monitor and ensure the survival of Syria’s shattered ethno-religious mosaic, in particular of its threatened indigenous Aramean people and Aramaic language;
  2. Demand action to be taken to help save Syria’s neglected minority groups, who are in urgent need of a humanitarian and development aid program as well as a resettlement program for IDPs and refugees;
  3. Appeal to the UN Peace Envoy to guarantee the broadest spectrum of Syrians in the talks, which should include the participation of Syria’s native Aramean people;
  4. Urge the UN Security Council to recognize that ISIS has committed a genocide against Syria’s defenseless minorities, in line with the recently adopted resolution by the European Parliament and yesterday also with an unanimous vote by the U.S. House of Representatives;
  5. Speak up whenever members of vulnerable minorities are attacked or terrorized with impunity by the Kurdish YPG forces, who keep expanding their territory and Kurdifying the region at the expense of the indigenous people. This is certainly no new development. The last and most blatant example was on January 11, 2016, when the YPG attacked the Aramean Christian self-defense unit SOOTORO in Qamishli, Northeast Syria, killing Gabriel Henry Daoud.

Click here to download the statement in PDF

 

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