I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the following delegations: Austria, Botswana, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Honduras, Ireland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Peru, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland.
We thank the members of the Commission of Inquiry for the presentation of their report on the findings of the special inquiry conducted in to the events in El-Houleh. Their independent and objective information on the massacre in El Houleh, as well as on the human rights violations in Syria in general, is of great value to this Council.
We are extremely concerned and dismayed about the findings of the Commission of Inquiry. As the Commission already concluded in its report presented at the 19th session of the Council and also confirmed today in the particular case of El-Houleh, widespread, systematic and gross human rights violations, amounting to crimes against humanity, may have been committed in Syria.
These crimes and violations continue to go unpunished in Syria, but impunity for grave human rights violations and crimes against humanity is unacceptable. Fact-Finding is an important tool in the fight against impunity. The work of the Commission of Inquiry, collecting and preserving evidence and keeping track of the violations, is necessary to make sure that alleged perpetrators of violation do not go unpunished.
As Syria remains unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute these crimes, we fully endorse and support the calls by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Procedures mandate-holders to the UN Security Council that the situation in Syria be referred to the International Criminal Court. Individual criminal responsibility must be established.
We cannot accept impunity for these violations.