I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway.
The situation in Syria is rapidly deteriorating. We strongly regret the loss of life of thousands of civilians, among those hundreds of innocent children. We have read the report of the International Commission of Inquiry with deep concern, including the assessment that the human rights violations may amount to crimes against humanity. The Syrian government has the responsibility to protect its population. President Assad should step aside to allow for a peaceful political transition.
We condemn the indiscriminate use of force against the civilian population and the systematic human rights violations carried out by the Syrian authorities. This must stop immediately and those responsible for these grave violations must be held accountable.
It is imperative that the international community redoubles its efforts to find a broad and inclusive approach for a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis. All members of the UN Security Council must assume their responsibility.
We commend the League of Arab States for their leadership in this issue and welcome the League’s plan for a peaceful, Syrian-led transition and political solution to the crisis. This plan represents the most credible effort to find a viable way forward. As the regional actor closest to the situation, the Arab League should continue to be in the driving seat, in close coordination with the UN.
We are witnessing a humanitarian crisis in several parts of Syria. The Syrian authorities must allow free and unimpeded access by the UN and humanitarian agencies to carry out humanitarian assistance to those in need. We call on all fighting parties to implement daily ceasefires, as requested by the ICRC and Syrian Red Crescent, in order to facilitate immediate humanitarian access. The Nordic Countries welcome the efforts made by neighboring countries to host Syrian refugees who fled violence in Syria
It is important that the Syrian opposition includes all peaceful and democratic representatives from all parts of Syrian society. In order to contribute to an orderly, inclusive and peaceful Syrian-led transition towards a democratic Syria, we encourage the opposition to urgently express a shared vision and set of constitutional principles respecting the rule of law.
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