Syria: UN Security Council Resolution first timid belated step to put an end to impunity

15 Apr, 2012 | Press Releases

Brussels – Rome – New York, 15 April 2012

After more than a year of violent and bloody repression and the deaths of around 10,000 people, the United Nations Security Council has finally adopted a resolution (UNSC 2042 (2012)) calling for immediate deployment in Syria of up to 30 monitors to monitor a still shaky and fragile cease-fire. This initial deployment is to be followed by a larger contingent of up to 250 once the situation has stabilised. The Resolution underlines the importance of bringing an immediate end to all violence and human rights violations and urgently implementing in full the six-point plan proposed by Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States.

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) are pleased that the UN Security Council has finally reached some agreement on the issue of Syria, thereby ending the standoff the result of which is simply a failure to protect civilians in Syria. Nonetheless, we consider the adoption of the UNSC Resolution on Syria as a first, timid and belated signal that the International Community is finally stepping up in protecting human rights within Syria. We hope that the Resolution will open the way to more incisive actions aimed at ending impunity and preparing for the prosecution of those who bear responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other gross human rights violations against the civilian population in Syria.

“Despite repeated appeals to President Assad’s Government to stop the violent crackdown on protesters from International and Regional Organisations, the cause of peace and security so far has not been served. Thus far, the violent repression and widespread violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms by Syrian military and security forces has produced more than ten thousand deaths, thousands of refugees and widespread arbitrarily arrests and tortures, according to the UN and others.

“NPWJ and the NRPTT call on the Syrian authorities, which so far have shown they cannot be trusted to respect their commitments, to comply immediately and fully with the implementation of Kofi Annan’s six-point plan, which also calls for an immediate end to all violence and human rights violations, securing humanitarian access and the initiation of a political process leading to a democratic, plural political system.

“In addition to the current deployment of 30 UN unarmed observers to Syria, the Security Council should establish as soon as possible a larger observer mission with the expertise and resources needed to effectively monitor all parts of the plan, in particular those relating to the transition of power and the establishment of democratic and inclusive institutions. Sound and effective accountability and monitoring mechanisms for violations of fundamental individual rights must also be put in place, alongside the prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity, in order to allow an inclusive political process of transition towards democracy.  To that end, the UN Mission observers must be granted unhindered and independent access to all parts of the country to ensure impartial investigations of all alleged violations committed.

“Justice and accountability are the only way forward for lasting peace and security in Syria and the region. The international community must put an end to the prevailing culture of impunity in Syria and hear the calls of the Syrian people for fundamental freedoms, human rights and a political process that, for the first time ever, could enable democratic values, liberal institutions and open government within the borders of modern Syria.”
For further information, please contact Alison Smith on or +32-(0)2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-(0)2-548-3915.