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Denmark co-sponsors UN-resolution on Syria

22.05.2014  09:55

France will today put forward a draft resolution in the UN Security Council that will refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. About 60 UN Member States, including Denmark and a unified EU, are expected to co-sponsor the proposed resolution.

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark Martin Lidegaard states:

“We completely support the referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. We have applied pressure and several times urged the Security Council to do exactly this. The targeting of civilians, the torture committed and the use of chemical weapons, contributes to a strong suspicion that war crimes have been committed. We have from the beginning of the Syrian conflict made clear, that we will not accept impunity.

More than 160,000 killed, 2.7 million refugees, 6.5 million internally displaced and 9 million Syrians are in grave need of humanitarian aid. These numbers are a clear sign of the catastrophe that is continuing to unfold in Syria. We owe to the victims of this tragic conflict that justice will prevail. At the same time, the resolution sends a clear signal to the parties that no crime will go unpunished.

Let me stress that this draft resolution does not take sides. All war crimes – no matter which side they are perpetrated by – must be examined. That is why Denmark encourages all UN Member States to co-sponsor this draft resolution.”

Background
It is expected that on the 22 May 2014 the UN Security Council will vote on a French draft resolution which will condemn the human rights violations that have taken place in Syria, and which will refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). This is the first time during the crisis, which has so already lasted more than 3 years that the Security Council will formally have to consider a referral to the ICC.

Both the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay and the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic have previously recommended that the UN Security Council should refer the situation in Syria to the Court. Denmark has expressed its support on several occasions, i.a. through the co-signing of a letter to the Security Council in this regard on 14 January 2013, together with 57 other countries.

Through its stabilization effort, Denmark is supporting a number of actors who are documenting human rights violations committed during the conflict, so that this documentation may be used in a possible court trial. In addition to this, Denmark has recently launched a stabilization program for 2014 of DKK 100 million, which is an important part of the overall Danish commitment to help the population in the areas controlled by the opposition. This is done in close cooperation with the moderate part of the Syrian opposition. Moreover, Denmark is supporting a string of human rights and civil society projects and efforts to find a political solution to the conflict.

Denmark has allocated DKK 204 million to stabilization and development efforts in Syria from 2012-2014. The funds are in addition to the sizeable Danish humanitarian contribution of DKK 682 million.