At the end of June, the UN General Assembly will be called to vote on a resolution to establish an independent institution to clarify the fate and whereabouts of missing people in the Syrian Arab Republic, a milestone in the international community’s response to the Syrian conflict.
Since 2011, more than 100,000 individuals have gone missing or been forcibly disappeared by Syrian authorities and other parties to the conflict, including armed groups such as ISIL. In 2021, Syrian families and survivors called for the creation of a new independent, humanitarian institution that will focus on victims’ inalienable right to know the truth about their loved ones.
The call to establish such a new institution is supported by the UN Secretary-General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The independent institution will be the first-ever response to the Syrian conflict to be entirely imagined and developed by Syrian victims and survivors of enforced disappearance and families of missing persons. The efforts made by Syrian families need the broadest and strongest support possible.
We, therefore, call on UN member states to support the families' right to truth by voting in favor of the resolution. Voting for the resolution will constitute a major step towards bringing long-awaited answers to thousands of families who have been suffering loss and uncertainty.
Progress on this issue is fundamental to families, communities and society as a whole. The international community must extend a hand of practical support and assistance to families and victims in need. The people of Syria deserve no less.