The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is examining a resolution, backed by Italy and promoted by Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, strongly condemning violations of fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities, and urging guaranteed access to humanitarian organisations to bring relief to the population of Homs and other areas affected.
Italy is among the resolution’s co-sponsors, as confirmed during the debate by Italian Ambassador Laura Mirachian, head of the UN Mission in Geneva. “We are looking at a possible humanitarian crisis”, she underscored. The ambassador recalled that this was not the first time that the UN Human Rights Council had debated the Syrian crisis. “Ten months after the first special session, the recent report by the inquiry committee confirmed that the serious and systematic violations of human rights have continued unceasingly as innocent civilians are made targets of indiscriminate attacks by the Syrian army and security forces”. The ambassador insisted that the defence of the Syrian people “must be guaranteed” and that, therefore, international humanitarian organisations had to be allowed to access the areas affected. Moreover, “the impunity that has thus far prevailed is no longer tollerable. Those responsible for these massive human rights violations, some of which could constitute crimes against humanity, must be prosecuted”, she stressed.
Russia – which, along with China has vetoed UN Security Council resolutions on Syria – did not stand in opposition during the Council debate, but had already stated that any “written document” resulting from the debate would be counterproductive. In his speech, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gatilov said that his country considers it “important” that Damascus cooperate with the Red Cross.