On Tuesday 14 March 2017, the WCA participated in the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council. It delivered an oral statement to both the High-Level Panel Meeting on Syria and later during the Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. On behalf of the WCA, Mr. Jacob Harman stressed the ignored atrocities endured by Syria's native Arameans. Furthermore, he reiterated the need to include all Syrian groups and parties such as the Arameans to participate in the peace process to ensure its succes.
Scroll down to read and download the statement.
Mr. Jacob Harman, WCA Delegate to the UN Office in Geneva, delivers the statement on Syria
Thank you, Mr. President.
We call upon all parties involved to join forces and to prioritize the defeat of ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq. Because only then peace and security can return and efforts to rebuild our destroyed home countries and societies can finally begin.
We remind all Member States to ask the Security Council to recognize the genocide committed by ISIS against vulnerable minority groups such as the Arameans and Yezidis, who have also been targeted and driven from their ancestral land by various other armed groups in the region. This includes Aleppo, where two of our highest religious leaders were kidnapped and who are still missing since 22 April 2013, and Northeast Syria.
At the expense of its native populations, the Kurdish YPG forces still intend to transform this area into an autonomous region called West Kurdistan or Rojava in Kurdish. There are a number of underreported cases of systematic assaults against indigenous Arameans. Such human rights abuses have forced thousands of them to seek refuge with relatives in Europe. By pursuing its nationalist goals, even through the Syrian Democratic Forces which it dominates, the YPG has provoked the reaction of state and non-state actors, thus putting the survival of threatened indigenous groups at risk.
We stress that no sustainable peace can exist with violence still ongoing in some parts of Syria. Neither can a new constitution or a reconciliatory process be successful without the inclusion of all warring parties and victimized groups. In particular the exclusion of the latter is unacceptable and an impediment to achieve sustainable peace.
If we wish to preserve Syria’s often-praised ethno-religious mosaic, the voice of its ethno-religious groups must be heard so that they can survive in their homeland.
Therefore, the survival of Syria’s indigenous Arameans asks for constitutional recognition, inclusion in the peace talks in Astana and Geneva, and participation in civil society and the government on both the national and local level.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Click here to download the statement in PDF.
Click here to watch the statement on UN WebTV, no. 63 on the list.