August 22, 2011

Statement by H.E. Dian Triansyah Djani, Permanent Representative of Indonesia at the 17th Special Session of the Human Rights Council On the Human Rights Situation in Syria

Madame President,

My delegation shares the widespread concern at the lack of progress since the previous Special Session in April and the worsening of the situation, in particular the escalation of violence in Syria over the past weeks. While the exact number of casualties is difficult to assess, nevertheless the many loss of life among the civilian population is indeed regrettable and we express our condolences to the many victims and their families.  This grave situation unfortunately leads us to demand that the authorities in charge act quickly, responsibly and effectively to stop the violence and bloodshed.

In this dire situation, we call for an immediate end to all violence and urge all parties to observe the utmost restraint and respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Most importantly, the Government should take all necessary measures to return the situation to normalcy without delay.

Madame President,

We welcome the commitments and various measures undertaken by the Syrian government to reform and to meet the demands of its population, including the lifting of the state of emergency, the abolition of the Supreme State Security Court and the issuance of long-awaited laws on the establishment of political parties and the holding of parliamentary elections and the election of local governance bodies. However, the current escalation of tension and violence signifies a lack of progress in the implementation of these measures, and highlights the urgent need for further political reform in the country. We also welcome the intention of the Syrian Government to accept and give access to the OHCHR mission and urge Syria to further engage with the international community.

My delegation once again wishes to reiterate the fundamental obligation of governments to listen to their people and underlines the need for an inclusive and Syrian-led political process, aimed at effectively addressing the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the citizens and allowing for the full exercise of the fundamental freedoms of all the population, including those of expression and peaceful assembly.

At this juncture, while this internal mechanism is in progress in Syria the international community should render its constructive contribution by creating an enabling environment, in order to assist the Syrian people achieve a peaceful solution.

Madame President,

Our Council has a primary duty to become a well-functioning alarm and to spotlight human rights situations whenever and wherever they arise. The rising concern of the international community at the alarming recent developments in Syria calls for our immediate and adequate attention. It is also our duty to remind ourselves and other governments of our obligations to respect international human rights and humanitarian law. However, this should be carried out in full respect of the sovereignty of the country concerned and through close engagement and cooperation with that country.

My delegation therefore would like to once again underline the determining principles of constructive dialogue, mutual respect and genuine cooperation which guide our work in promoting and protecting human rights worldwide, including when dealing with human rights situations in specific countries.

In conclusion Madame President, my delegation will continue to urge and call for the Syrian authorities to respect the fundamental rights of its citizens and initiate necessary reform, ensuring the safety of all its citizens as well as the stability and unity of the country. It is our sincere expectation that peace will prevail.

Thank you.

Geneva, 22 August 2011

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