Thank you Madam President,
We thank the Deputy High Commissioner for her update on Syria as a follow-up of the 16th Special Session of the Human Rights Council.
Norway remains deeply concerned over the human rights situation in Syria, where the regime's prolonged violent crackdown on the demonstrators has led to more than 2600 killed and many more injured and arrested. A steady flow of reports tell of systematic arrests, detentions, killings, torture, harrassment, deaths in custody etc.
The Syrian leadership must stop the violence immediately. Through its use of violence, the Syrian regime has lost its legitimacy, both internally and externally. Norway believes that President Assad should step aside.
The Human Rights Council has sent a clear messages to the Syrian Government that the violent suppression of peaceful protests must stop. Norway regrets that these messages have been entirely ignored by Syrian authorities. The indicated willingness by the Syrian leadership to engage in political reform has been followed by nothing but continued violent clampdown against the people of Syria.
We are pleased with the Human Rights Council’s recent decision to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in Syria and your quick appointment of the high-level experts as members of the Commission.
It is important that the international community, headed by the UN, is united in the critical response to the grave situation in Syria and that those who have committed crimes are brougt to justice. The report by the independent Commission will be an important foundation for continued efforts by the international community in this respect.