While the tragedy of hundreds of thousands of families who keep looking for any information about their missing loved ones during the ongoing conflict in Syria is still going on, a new glimmer of hope emerged as the Security Council issued its first resolution on the question of missing persons on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Unanimously, the UNSC reaffirmed the priority of the issue of missing persons in armed conflict in a new international attempt to put an end to the instrumentalization of enforced disappearance in armed conflict.
We, the signatory civil organizations, welcome the advanced step taken by the Security Council and at the initiative of the State of Kuwait, to adopt the unprecedented resolution No. S/RES/2474 on the issue of missing persons and disappeared in armed conflict. We call upon, member-States to the Security Council and States supporting Human Rights and peaceful resolution to armed conflicts, to pressure the parties to the conflict in Syria to take clear and concrete measures in response to the provisions of the international resolution by revealing the fate of thousands of kidnapped and missing persons, and ensuring the establishment of an independent and transparent investigation and accountability mechanism under international supervision and guarantees a fair and transparent accountability and punishments to perpetrators.
Today, undetermined number of Syrians remain unaccounted after being subject to arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance. Their families are still waiting for any notification or information about the whereabouts and condition of their loved ones. And while the Syrian government is progressively and unofficially cleansing its records through issuing death notices and death certificates for missing persons after years of disappearance while security and judicial authorities in Syria refrain from opening an independent and transparent investigation into the causes of their death, the place and circumstances of the disappearance, or releasing their remains. In this regard, we demand from your respected council to assume its active role on this issue and to exert all possible efforts to put an end to these practices as to the policies of impunity standing against any possibility of sustainable peace in Syria.
As adopting the resolution unanimously reflects an advanced international will to address the issue of the missing persons in Syria and other war torn countries, we, as part of the civil society forces around the world, look forward to an effective role for the United Nations and the Security Council’s member States to remain seized of the matter and follow up closely the situation of the missings and detainees, victims of Daesh, the government and armed factions, and to pressure all warring parties and their allies to fully and unconditionally cooperate in revealing the fate of detainees and missing persons and identify perpetrators as a first step to achieving justice and building the State of rule of law in Syria.