I welcome the decision today by the UN Human Rights Council to condemn the Government of Syria for its violent crackdown against peaceful demonstrators. With today’s vote, the Council has stood against attempts to silence dissent with the use of gratuitous violence, which is not the act of a responsible government.
Human Rights Council Resolution S-16/1 sets an important precedent, marking a strong step forward for this world body at a critical time. Significantly, today’s resolution mandates an urgent mission by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law, with the goal of ensuring full accountability for the perpetrators of the violence. The United States strongly supports this decision.
The resolution also underscores the incongruity of Syria’s current candidacy for the Human Rights Council. Meeting legitimate calls for reform with tanks and bullets is unacceptable behavior by any government, least of all an aspiring member of the Council.
The United States will continue to stand up for democracy and respect for universal rights that all human beings deserve – in Syria and throughout the world. And we will continue to support all defenders of human rights against Syria’s cynical attempt in Geneva to paper over its record of brutality and repression.