Today… we are meeting in order to end this Council’s shameful silence. I am indeed using the word “shameful” and I will try to explain my use of this adjective.
What is the situation in Syria today? A people rose up to defend its freedom. Words are no longer enough to describe the horror of a brutal crackdown. To say it is worsening, to say it is tragic, is nothing close to reality.. There have been at least 5,400 deaths, according to the UN! 384 children have been killed according to UNICEF! 15 000 prisoners !15 000 refugees ! A daily torture !
I have long characterized some of the regime’s actions as crimes against humanity. The International Commission of Inquiry established by the Commission on Human Rights has confirmed this description. But beyond the numbers, it is the faces of tortured children, the bodies of abused women, the thousands of human beings who are victims of the crackdown that must guide our efforts. The humanitarian situation each day deteriorates a bit further: How much horror must there be for the Security Council to demand the cessation of human rights violations and the free access for humanitarian aid?
Each State has the responsibility to protect its civilian population. Not content with failing to protect its people, the Syrian regime despicably massacres them without restraint. This behavior has direct consequences on international peace and security: thousands of refugees are fleeing the fighting, violations of the sovereignty of neighboring states, heightened ethnic tensions, so many direct repercussions on the stability of an already fragile region. Without even mentioning the responsibility to protect, these regional consequences are enough to establish the Security Council’s responsibility.
Alain Juppé, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs for France, speaking to the UN Security Council on the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
We need more of this.