[9 March 2017] Syrian civil society groups are expressing anger and frustration at the failure of peace talks in Geneva to deliver substantive progress to end the suffering of Syrian civilians. As preparations are made for the next round of talks, civil society groups demand that the international community assert more pressure on the parties to the conflict – in particular the Syrian regime and its allies, which utilized the peace talks to intensify their bombardment of innocent civilians.
“We are bitterly disappointed – though not surprised – that the Geneva IV failed to deliver meaningful progress for our people,” Assaad al Achi of Baytna Syria, a Syrian nongovernmental organization, said. “As we have said repeatedly: without a commitment by the international community to apply meaningful pressure on the Syrian regime and its allies, the killing will continue and negotiations will fail.”
“The international community’s refusal to uphold its responsibility to protect Syrian civilians and enforce the Syrian ceasefire only emboldens war criminals and those who seek to scuttle substantive talks on transition”, Fadel Abdul Ghany of the Syrian Network for Human Rights continued. “While talks were ongoing in Geneva, the Security Council failed to condemn the regime’s proven use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians. Worse, Member States have refused to take the necessary actions to compensate for Security Council deadlock – failing to assert the leadership that the Security Council so obviously lacks.”