Foreign Minister Steinmeier: UN observers must be given access to, and permitted to work unhindered in, Aleppo

22.12.2016 - Press release

Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement today (22 December 2016) on the sending of UN observers to Aleppo as well as on the decision of the UN General Assembly to set up a body to document war crimes in Syria:

It is right and conveys an important message that the United Nations Security Council has agreed to send UN observers to monitor the evacuation of women, men and children from Aleppo.

The focus must now be on obtaining access for the urgently needed additional UN staff, as well, and on ensuring that these observers can work unhindered.

The Syrian regime, Iran and Russia, which is a member of the Security Council and has agreed to the observer mission, they all now bear principal responsibility for guaranteeing that the United Nations and other aid organisations have immediate full access to eastern Aleppo and to the evacuees.

Furthermore, I welcome that the UN General Assembly yesterday adopted a resolution on establishment of an independent body to better document war crimes in Syria.

This body is meant to support and closely coordinate its activities with the commission of inquiry that was established by the Human Rights Council in 2011. In this way, we are again sending the message that war crimes in Syria must not go unpunished. This is also an important sign of solidarity with the victims of the conflict in Syria.

Background information:

Germany is a co‑sponsor of the text of the resolution on establishment of an independent body to document war crimes in Syria.

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