Remarks on a Third Committee Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in Syria

Courtney Nemroff
Deputy U.S. Representative to ECOSOC
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 15, 2018



The United States supports the resolution “the Situation of Human Rights in the Syrian Arab Republic” before us today. We call on all countries to join us in voting for this resolution. By passing this resolution, the General Assembly will continue to fulfill the important role of drawing global attention to the atrocities committed by the Syrian regime and its partners in Syria.

The United States strongly supports justice and accountability for the Syrian people and welcomes the continued robust attention to this crisis at the UN.

We welcome the resolution’s strong condemnation of the continued violations and abuses of human rights and all violations of international humanitarian law carried out by the Syrian government and its allies. The Syrian government remains responsible for the vast majority of the killing, death, and destruction inflicted on the Syrian people.

The resolution rightly calls attention to the reporting by the UN Commission of Inquiry on these egregious violations and abuses, including those involving unlawful killing, arbitrary detention, torture, sexual and gender-based violence, forced displacement, and the use of chemical weapons. The United States denounces in the strongest possible terms all of these heinous acts.

The resolution addresses specific Syrian military intelligence facilities where the UN COI and Syrian documentation groups have provided horrendous accounts of rape, mutilation, and killing of detainees. The facilities include: Branch 215, Branch 227, Branch 235, Branch 251, the Air Force Intelligence Investigation Branch at Mezzeh military airport, Sednaya prison and military hospitals, including Tishreen and Harasta.

We join the resolutions’ sponsors in again condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria, including chlorine, sarin and sulphur mustard. The resolution rightly reminds the international community of the Assad regime’s brutal assaults on the people of Saraqib and Douma. Dozens of men, women, and children were killed and injured.

The United States will continue to provide the political, diplomatic, and financial support essential to ensure there are real consequences for the atrocities committed in Syria – whether it be the thousands in arbitrary detention in Assad’s prisons, those who have suffered and been killed by barrel bombs and chemical weapons attacks, or the many who have been exposed to the regime’s starve and surrender tactics. The United States, and I know many of our allies and partners here, are committed to promoting accountability for those responsible for atrocities in Syria.

We reiterate our call for UN-led intra-Syrian negotiations to reach a political solution to the conflict as called for in UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communiqué. The United States remains firm in its resolve and in its support of the UN-led process. We look forward to the convening of the Constitutional Committee as the first of several confidence building measures that will bring peace and stability to Syria and to the region.

We have addressed our concerns with regards to this resolution’s references to the International Criminal Court in a separate statement.