12 Jun 2015
Statement by the Special Advisers of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect, and the Special Rapporteurs on Minority Issues and on Freedom of Religion or Belief, on the situation in Syria
The Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect, Jennifer Welsh, the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Rita Izsák, and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, strongly condemned the increased number of government aerial attacks in Syria and the use of indiscriminate weapons, such as barrel bombs, including in civilian populated areas. In addition they reiterated their concern about the on-going threat to the safety of minority groups in Syria, including Alawites, Armenians, Assyrians, Druze, Ismailis and Kurds, who are being killed, persecuted or otherwise targeted - primarily by non state armed groups, including Jabhat al Nusra and the so-called "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" - on the basis of their religious or ethnic identity. The Special Advisers and the Special Rapporteurs recalled the commitment by all Heads of State and Government at the 2005 World Summit to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, including their incitement, and to cooperate in fulfilling their collective responsibility to protect.