UN chief calls for a new tool to find 100,000 ‘disappeared’ Syrians
Syria and its people “deserve peace” and to know the truth about the whereabouts of their loved ones, according to UN Secretary-General António Guterres. The country is entering its 13th year of a terrible civil conflict and is struggling to recover from catastrophic earthquakes in February.
Missing Syrians: 100,000
“An estimated 100,000 Syrians’ location and destiny remain unknown,” he added. “Many have loved ones who are missing, including family members who were forcefully disappeared, abducted, tortured, and unjustly incarcerated,” says the report.
He urged the General Assembly to create a new international institution while praising the brave work done by a Syrian family, victim, and survivor associations, and other civil society organizations to map out a way ahead.
He called on all Member States to take action, the Government of Syria to collaborate, and all parties to the conflict to “work to settle this very painful situation with determination and urgency.”
He declared that it was crucial to assist Syrians in their healing and get rid of a barrier to establishing a lasting peace. The world community owes it to these people to alleviate their predicament.
Suggested new mechanism
Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, echoed that appeal and elaborated on the specifics of such a new institution. He highlighted the results of meetings with significant players, ranging from the International Committee of the Red Cross to Syrian groups.
The parties contacted as well as several Member States had concurred that existing efforts should be streamlined by a new, dedicated organization.
He said, drawing on stakeholder consultations, that the mechanism would be centered on victims and survivors, emphasize gender sensitivity, ensure inclusivity, operate without discrimination, and be guided in all search operations by the working presumption that the missing person is alive and in need of assistance right away.
He described the situation of missing people in Syria as “terrible in its scale.” “Strong action is needed to address the ongoing disappearance of many tens of thousands of persons, ranging in age from young toddlers to old men and women. It is necessary to address this widespread suffering in communities and towns across the nation. Without reconciliation, it will remain far away. reconciling polarized communities
He offered several additional requirements, including that the mechanism be situated at a place where survivors and their families feel secure, be wholly based on human rights, and guarantee openness and flexibility.
Without progress on these issues, which are crucial to families, communities, and society at large, he claimed that there will never be permanent peace in Syria. “Steps in this direction can help reunite communities that have been split apart. No less owes to the Syrian people.