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UN Geneva | Christians in the Middle East: Citizenship, Human Rights and their Future

27th Session of the UN Human Rights Council: Side Event
Geneva, 15 September 2014

Tentative Program | Flyer

In the face of the deteriorating situation of Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria, the WCA is co-organizing the following side event during the 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva:


Christians in the Middle East:
Citizenship & Human Rights and their Future
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
14:00 – 16:00h
Palais des Nations, Geneva, Room XXI

WCA HRC24 BO PP 170913

Oral Statement at the 24th Session of the Human Rights Council Geneva

Oral Statement Human Rights Council 24th Session
Item 4: Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry for the Syrian Arab Republic

Click here to download the statement

Thank you Mr. President,

The Christians in Syria suffer like never before. The war has brought nothing but destruction and a more than uncertain future. We receive daily reports from our Aramean people about targeted violence against Christians by militant Islamists.

The abduction of two high representatives of the churches in Syria, the Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo H.E. Gregorius Hanna Ibrahim, and his Greek Orthodox colleague H.E. Boulos al-Yazigi, four months ago reveal the disturbing plan of a huge part of the opposition to fight the Christians and drive them out of the country. The two Bishops are still missing and we request the opposition to immediately set them free.


WCA’s Speech in Geneva at UN Special Session on Iraq: Enough is Enough!

On Monday 1 September 2014, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva held its 22nd Special Session regarding “the human rights situation in Iraq in light of abuses committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and associated groups.” A number of states and NGOs, among which the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) (“WCA”), raised their concerns about the escalating human rights abuses in the region. 

Mr. Basil Özkaya, WCA Main Representative to the UN Office in Geneva, speaks during the 22nd HRC Special Session on Iraq


Oral Statement HRC 24th Session - General Debate

World Council of Arameans (Syriacs)
Oral Statement Human Right Council 24th Session - General Debate

The Silent Genocide and Mass Exodus of the Christians in Syria: Deafening Silence from the International Community

Click here to download the oral statement

Thank you Mr. President,

The forgotten Christians in Syria suffer like never before. Every single day we receive heartbreaking reports from our people in Syria, who are increasingly leaving their homeland.

We are saddened by the deafening silence about this reality. We are happy to note that some countries spearheaded by Russia call attention for Syria’s vulnerable minorities, but we are also compelled to note that many governments and mainstream media remain silent on this. The most recent example was a press conference that took place just yesterday in Paris by the foreign ministers of France, England and America.

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UN Commission on Syria listens again to Arameans in Geneva

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Syria informed the international community on its report of March 2014 and on its latest findings at the Human RIghts Council's 26th Session in Geneva, this Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 June 2014. Followed by the Interactive Dialogue with the CoI, governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were invited to share their thoughts and concerns.

The World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) was among the few NGOs that were granted the opportunity to speak. The WCA reiterated its concerns about the whereabouts of the two abducted bishops. It called again upon the CoI and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to condemn this case and investigate it, considering its huge impact on Syria's endangered Christian population that continues to suffers from other issues that were addressed in the statement.


Oral Statement HRC 22nd Session - Agenda item 4, ID with COI Syria (11 March 2013)

Human Rights Council 22nd Session - Agenda item 4, ID with COI Syria
Oral Statement - 11 March 2013
Submitted by Syriac Universal Alliance (SUA)
Speaker: Mr. Basil Oezkaya

Thank you Mr. President!

There is a real danger that Syria is becoming a battlefield for Islamist militant groups and will result in another Iraq where more than a million Christians have been uprooted and distinct ethno-religious groups are still combating each other.


WCA speaks at UN in Geneva: Help Christians in Syria and Turkey

On Tuesday, 18 May 2014, the WCA delivered its second statement during the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the United Nations in Geneva. In the morning, the WCA had addressed the HRC regarding the crisis in Syria (click here). In the afternoon, during the General Debate, the WCA reminded the international community of the ongoing struggle for survival by the Aramean people in Turkey and Syria. The WCA reiterated its grave concerns concerning the gloomy future of the Christians in Syria, and once again asked the UN for support in the case of the abducted bishops of Aleppo.

Click here to download the statement in PDF or click here to watch the statement given by the WCA President (Mr. Johny Messo) on the UN Webcast (under number 32).

Oral Statement: Human Rights Council - Item 5: Indigenous Peoples

Oral Statement by the Syriac Universal Alliance on the theme of: Unrecognized Indigenous Peoples: The Case of the Aramean (Syriac) People of Turkey

Thank you, Mr. President.

Your Excellency,

Distinguished Delegates,

The Syriac Universal Alliance represents the indigenous Aramean (also known as Syriac) people of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. I would like to draw your attention to the situation in Turkey. 


WCA speaks at UN in Geneva: Syria's Christian presence endangered

On Tuesday, 18 March 2014, a four-headed WCA Delegation arrived in Switzerland to participate in the 25th Session of the United Nations' Human Rights Council in order to call attention for the dire situation of Syria's native Aramean Christians. During the Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, the WCA expressed its deep concerns about the endangered presence of the Christians in yet another predominantly Muslim country. It further called upon the UN member states, such as the United States, Qatar and Turkey, "to break their screaming silence and speak up for the suffering Christians." 

Click here to download the statement in PDF or click here to watch the address given by the WCA President (Mr. Johny Messo) via the UN Webcast (under number 3).



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