On 22 June 2020 the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) passed Resolution 42/28 on the situation of human rights in Syria. The HRC recalled the statements made by the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights that crimes against humanity and war crimes are likely to have been committed in the Syrian Arab Republic. The HRC condemned ongoing serious human rights violations including torture, mass executions, enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests perpetrated by Syrian authorities. The HRC further expressed its deepest concern at the findings of the Independent International CoI on the Syrian Arab Republic and deplored the lack of cooperation by the Syrian authorities with the CoI. The HRC decided to extend the mandate of the CoI for a period of one year and requested the CoI to provide an oral update to the HRC during the interactive dialogue at its 44th session, and to present an updated written report during an interactive dialogue at its 44th and 46th sessions. The HRC also requested the CoI, in accordance with its mandate, to urgently conduct a comprehensive, independent special inquiry into the recent events in Idlib province and surrounding areas to identify all those for whom there are reasonable grounds to believe that there were alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law, and to support efforts to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable. The HRC further requested the CoI to provide a full report on its findings, to be followed by an interactive dialogue on its special inquiry, to the HRC no later than its 44th session. The resolution demanded that “the Syrian authorities meet their responsibility to protect the Syrian population” and further stressed that “the primary responsibility to protect the Syrian population lies with the Syrian authorities.”
The resolution was adopted by a vote of 27 in favor, 2 against and 18 abstentions.