UN Human Rights Council 43rd Session – Item 4 – ID with Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic – Intervention by ESTONIA – 10th March 2020

Madame President,

Estonia fully aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union.

We value highly and continue to support the important work of the Commission.

Estonia strongly condemns the recent surge of violence in the northwest of Syria. Estonia takes note of the outcome of the meeting between Russia and Turkey on 5th of March and establishment of the ceasefire in Idlib, which brings much-needed relief to the human suffering. All warring parties need to put in place an immediate and sustainable ceasefire, to guarantee the protection of civilians and to enable the unhindered access of humanitarian aid to all people in need.

There is no justification to the military campaign of the Syrian regime and its backers, including Russia, what has caused massive displacement and number of civilian casualties in Idlib province. Indiscriminate and deliberate attacks in densely populated areas, including attacks on schools, public markets, medical facilities and other civilian infrastructure, is a brutal violation of international humanitarian law, amounting to war crimes and crime against humanity. Estonia remains supportive of the need to refer the situation of Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Estonia is deeply distressed about the brutality executed on children in this conflict as detailed in the Commission’s report from January this year. We urge all parties to the conflict to stop the violations against children and to implement the conclusions on Syria of the SC Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict from 2019, as well as the relevant resolutions on children and armed conflict, and women, peace and security.

It is important to keep these situations under the scrutiny of the Human Rights Council and we call on all parties involved to cooperate fully with the Commission of Inquiry and implement immediately its latest recommendations.

Thank you!