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International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
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Statement on the Anniversary of Atrocities in Syria
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
15 March 2012
 
One year ago the Syrian government began its campaign of violent repression against a peaceful uprising. Today it stands responsible for the deaths of over 7,500 Syrian civilians. Divisions within the United Nations Security Council have emboldened the Syrian government in its ongoing commission of crimes against humanity. This cannot continue. The United Nations Security Council must uphold the Responsibility to Protect and send a strong, unified message to the Syrian government to cease its attacks on civilians. (…)
 
The Responsibility to Protect was created to prevent and protect populations from these mass atrocity crimes and the Security Council’s ability to fulfill this responsibility cannot be held hostage by two of its member-states. As prospects for any peaceful resolution of the conflict dwindle, all efforts must be made to urge Russia and China to work with the international community in demanding a halt to further crimes against humanity.
 
While all measures must be considered, we are deeply concerned that the further militarization of the situation will only lead to more lives lost. The appointment of Kofi Annan as the UN-Arab League Special Envoy on Syria provides a critical opportunity for diplomatic engagement. (…)
 
The Security Council has a responsibility to take action in situations where populations are experiencing mass atrocities. In keeping with the Responsibility to Protect we urge Security Council members to:
 
1.     Strongly condemn the unrelenting attacks by the Syrian government on its own people and demand an immediate ceasefire followed by unhindered humanitarian access;
  1. Provide their full support and cooperation, both materially and politically, to the diplomatic mission of Kofi Annan;
  2. Indicate that the Council is prepared to take additional steps, including imposing an arms embargo, authorizing targeted sanctions, and referring the situation to the ICC, should the Syrian government fail to cease its attacks on civilians. (…)
 
Read the full statement.

 

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