General Assembly: Statement by Ambassador Wittig on Syria

Feb 13, 2012

(Statement as delivered by Ambassador Wittig in the General Assembly meeting on the Human Rights situation in Syria)

Mr. President,

Germany alingns itself with the statement made by the European Union.

While we are discussing here in New York, a repressive regime continues to kill, wound and maim its own people. There can be no doubt: the Syrian people needs our help.

Three months ago, here in the General Assembly, the world community had firmly and with overwhelming majority condemned the systematic violence and human rights violations committed by the Syrian authorities. 

Today, we have heard yet again a gruesome and appaling  account of the situation in the ground. It’s been getting worse and worse. The death toll is mounting daily. Thousands of civilians have been killed, including hundreds of children. Arbitrary arrests, torture, rape and ill-treatment by the regime in Damascus are widespread.

This killing and the repression must end. Those responsible for the attrocities committed must be held accountable under international law. We welcome that the Arab League has joined this call.

We applaud Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his clear and unequivocal condemnation of the bloodshed. He has given a voice to the wider UN membership at a time when the Security Council did not – for reasons well known – live up to its responsibility.

We also welcome the clear words from the High Commissioner, Ms. Pillay, this morning, on the shocking situation on the ground. I have no doubt that the report by the Independent Commission of Inquiry to the Human Rights Council will again confirm these appalling facts.

Germany continues to advocate for a Security Council-mandated Commission of Inquiry. Accountability has to be established beyond doubt. We also repeat our demand for unhindered access to medical care without discrimination.

Mr. President,

The League of Arab States has demonstrated its determination to settle the conflict peacefully, and to facilitate a Syrian-led political transition process.

The Syrian government, however, does not show any willingness to stop repression and engage in a peaceful, political process. The latest indiscriminate shelling of the city of Homs shows not only extreme brutality but also blatant disrespect for the efforts of the Arab League.

Mr. President,

We fully share the urgence given by the Arab League to finding a solution to the crisis, including their renewed initiative to call on the Security Council to act.

Germany remains convinced that the situation in Syria requires Security Council action.

Germany also supports the nomination of a special envoy of the Arab League to facilitate the political transition process. We also welcome the convocation of a “Friends of Syria” meeting on 24 February in Tunisia.

Lastly, we support the idea of a General Assembly resolution to be put forward by the Arab Group.

We encourage all members of the United Nations to support such a resolution.

Thank you, Mr. President

© GermanyUN

Peace and Security

Regional conflicts, fragile or collapsed states, armed conflicts, terrorism and organized crime – all have grave consequences for the people who suffer under them. They also threaten the security and stability of entire regions and peoples.