ON March 5, members of the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution on the deteriorating human rights situation in Eastern Ghouta, Syria.
We regret to say that this initiative has nothing to do with real concerns for human rights in Syria or for the humanitarian needs of this area’s population. This is proven by the position of the document’s main authors, the delegation of the United Kingdom. Supported by the United States, its members refused to approve amendments suggested by Russia and a number of other states, aimed at denouncing terrorism in Syria and militants’ shelling of residential areas of Damascus. The proposed amendments also urged illegal paramilitary units not to hamper the evacuation of civilians via humanitarian corridors. Therefore, US and UK representatives have virtually confirmed their own reluctance to honor the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 2401. In effect, they have confirmed their support for militants who are entrenched in Eastern Ghouta; and many of these militants are linked with al-Qaida.
One can once again, perceive the double standards of some countries whose delegations have declined to denounce terrorism in Syria out of considerations of the moment. The fact that on the voting day itself, the militants actually bargained over the conditions under which they would be willing to release their remaining civilian hostages, makes one particularly indignant.
In this connection, we are urging all states with an influence on anti-government paramilitary units to persuade their “clients” to cease hostilities, to ensure unimpeded deliveries of humanitarian aid and the unobstructed evacuation of civilians wishing to leave the Eastern Ghouta war zone.
In turn, we will continue to work with all Syrian warring parties in the interests of resolving the conflict as soon as possible, establishing peaceful dialogue between all the concerned participants, and completely eradicating the terrorist threat.
BY THE EMBASSY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION IN THE PHILIPPINES