The escalating grave human rights violations and deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic

The Human Rights Council,

Having held an urgent debate to discuss the escalating grave human rights violations and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,

Expressing grave concern at the deterioration of the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, in particular the ongoing human rights violations and use of violence by the Syrian authorities against its population, resulting in a humanitarian crisis,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling General Assembly resolutions 66/176 of 19 December 2011 and 66/253 of 23 February 2012, Human Rights Council resolutions S-16/1 of 29 April 2011, S-17/1 of 23 August 2011 and S-18/1 of 2 December 2011, the decisions, initiatives, efforts and measures of the League of Arab States to address all aspects of the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, including its resolutions 7444 of 22 January 2012 and 7446 of 12 February 2012, and the final communiqué of the Executive Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation after its meeting on the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, held on 30 November 2011,

Welcoming the conclusions of the Chairman of the International Conference of the Group of Friends of the Syrian People of 24 February 2012,

1. Strongly condemns the continued widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities, such as the use of force against civilians, arbitrary executions, the killing and persecution of protestors, human rights defenders and journalists, including recent deaths of Syrian and foreign journalists, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, interference with access to medical treatment, torture, sexual violence and ill-treatment, including against children ;

2. Deplores the brutal actions of the Syrian regime over the past 11 months, such as its use of heavy artillery and tanks to attack residential areas of cities and towns, which have led to the death of thousands of innocents civilians, caused widespread destruction, forced tens of thousands of Syrians to flee their homes and created widespread suffering among the Syrian people, resulting in a humanitarian crisis ;

3. Expresses strong concern at the humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, including the lack of access to basic food, medicine and fuel, as well as threats to and acts of violence against medical staff, patients and facilities ;

4. Reiterates the need to urgently address humanitarian needs, to facilitate the effective delivery of assistance and to ensure safe access to medical treatment ;

5. Calls upon the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic to immediately put an end to all human rights violations and attacks against civilians, to cease all violence, to allow free and unimpeded access by the United Nations and humanitarian agencies to carry out a full assessment of needs in Homs and other areas, and to permit humanitarian agencies to deliver vital relief goods and services to all civilians affected by the violence, especially in Homs, Dar’a, Zabadani and other areas under siege by the Syrian security forces ;

6. Stresses the importance of ensuring accountability and the need to end impunity and hold to account those responsible for human rights violations, including those violations that may amount to crimes against humanity ;

7. Acknowledges the serious and growing burden carried by the neighbours of the Syrian Arab Republic in hosting refugees from the Syrian Arab Republic and committed to provide appropriate support and assistance in this regard ;

8. Decides to remain seized of the matter and to take further action on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, including after the forthcoming interactive dialogue with the commission of inquiry.

Draft resolution by : Albania*, Andorra*, Australia*, Austria, Bahrain*, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria*, Canada*, Côte d’Ivoire*, Croatia*, Cyprus*, Czech Republic, Denmark*, Djibouti, Egypt*, Estonia*, Finland*, France*, Germany*, Greece*, Hungary, Iceland*, Ireland*, Italy, Japan*, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia*, Libya, Lithuania*, Luxembourg*, Maldives, Malta*, Monaco*, Morocco*, Netherlands*, New Zealand*, Nigeria, Norway, Oman*, Poland, Portugal*, Qatar, Republic of Korea*, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia*, Slovenia*, Spain, Sweden*, Switzerland, Tunisia*, Turkey*, United Arab Emirates*, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland*, United States of America.

Adopted on 01 March 2012 : 37 in favour, 3 against, 3 abstentions:

UN : A/HRC/19/L.1/Rev.1