Syria: Brussels III conference highlights the central importance of accountability


FIDH has worked over the past years with its member league, the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) , to put the issues of accountability and the fight against impunity at the centre of the agenda of the discussions on the future of Syria.

On the occasion of the second Conference on the future of Syria in 2018, FIDH and SCM published a position paper insisting on these points as well as on the specific topics of enforced disappearances and the right to safe return. FIDH and SCM have continued advocacy activities on this basis, including specifically in the preparation of the third, 2019, Syria Conference.

The co-chairs Declaration on 14 March 2019 concluding the Brussels III Conference on ’Supporting the future of Syria and the region’ contains a full section on accountability. The Declaration asserts the full commitment to continue promoting accountability and justice as an inherent part of any meaningful process of genuine and sustainable reconciliation in Syria. It insists that all those responsible for breaches of international law must be held accountable and commends the work of the independent Commission of Inquiry (CoI) and the International Independent and Impartial Mechanism (IIIM). It also calls for the situation in Syria to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). A side event on "Ensuring justice and sustainable peace in Syria" co-organised by a number of States highlighted that the pursuit of accountability and justice should be victim-centred and complementary to the UN-led peace process in Geneva. It called for enhanced co-operation between national authorities, civil society and international accountability mechanisms such as the CoI and the IIIM.

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