The Chair of the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria addressed the General Assembly [official websites] on Monday, imploring member states [video] to bring about peace talks in the violence-plagued country. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro [official profile] described "crimes that shock the conscience" as ongoing and pervasive, including "indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment; disappearances; torture; sexual violence; and massacres." According to the extensive reports filed by the Commission of Inquiry, more than 100,00 fatalities have occurred in the past two years, and there is no accountability for perpetrators on either side of the conflict. Pinheiro shifted the burden of peace from internal Syrian forces onto the international community:
As the conflict drags on, youand the worldhave become accustomed to levels of violence that were previously unthinkable. The absence of decisive action, by the community of States as a whole, has nourished the culture of impunity that has developed inside Syria today.This war is a chronicle of missed opportunities on the part of influential States and the international communityThe General Assembly has not yet adopted a response to Pinheiro's call for action.
The Commission released a report [JURIST report] last month on the status of human rights in Syria and condemned foreign militants' participation in the conflict. The Syrian Civil War [JURIST news archive] has been ongoing since 2011 when opposition groups first began protesting the regime of Bashar Al-Assad [JURIST news archive]. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] released a statement in June condemning the most recent violence [JURIST report] in Syria, and expressing concern over how it has been affecting the civilian population.