Statement on UNSC's Failure to Refer Syria to the ICC

In responding to the results of today's vote at the UN Security Council, Dr. Najib Ghadbian, Syrian Coalition Special Representative to the UN, stated:

"The Syrian Coalition would like to thank France, Switzerland and all those states who stood with the Syrian people today in pursuit of justice. Despite the Security Council’s failure to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court, these countries’ demand for justice places them firmly on the right side of history. 

"Today’s vetoes by Russia and China represent a disgraceful attempt to shield from justice those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. For the past three years, Russia has aided and abetted Syria’s war machine through the provision of deadly weapons. Now its priority is to ensure that the atrocities committed with these weapons go unpunished. Today, China has chosen to place loyalty to Russia before the interests of justice. We hope that in the future China will exert greater independence in defining its own foreign policy priorities at the Security Council, including by standing with the Syrian people, who demand accountability.

"In a letter sent to the UN Security Council on 20 May, the Syrian Coalition expressed its support for an ICC referral. All those who violate international human rights and international humanitarian law in Syria must be held accountable, in accordance with international law. The culture of impunity which reins in Syria today serves the interests only of Assad, his allies, and others who commit terrorist acts.  Today’s vetoes will not, however, end our pursuit of justice.  If deadlock at the Security Council continues to impede our quest for accountability, the Syrian Coalition will steadfastly pursue all other legal means at our disposal to achieve justice for our people."      

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National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces
Committed to a free, democratic, and pluralistic Syria.