Australian statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, 23 September 2021
Australia thanks the Commission for its update.
We are deeply concerned by ongoing violations of human rights in Syria, and the continued suffering of the Syrian people after more than a decade of conflict.
Australia condemns the Assad regime’s use of airstrikes and artillery shelling in densely populated areas, which have resulted in the injury and death of tens of thousands of civilians, and which this Commission has noted may constitute crimes against humanity. We are particularly disturbed by reports of the use of improvised weapons by the regime, including barrel bombs, modified artillery rounds, and explosives dropped by helicopters. Syria must adhere to the limits placed on the means and methods used in armed conflict.
Australia is deeply concerned by the forced displacement of thousands of civilians following the siege of Daraa and calls on parties to facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance to all affected areas and communities.
As we approach two years since the first Syrian Constitutional Committee meeting, we seek the Commission’s views on how to secure the Assad regime’s genuine commitment to a UN-sponsored peace process and an end to the ongoing violence.