New York, Sep 5: The discussion about Syria when G-20 leaders meet in St. Petersburg on Sep mber 5 and 6, should address the member countries’ abysmal response to the Syrian crisis as a whole over the past two years, Human Rights Watch said today.
While G-20 leaders are unlikely to agree on the response to the alleged chemical attack on Syria’s suburbs or the big picture for Syria, they should at least agree on concrete measures that can provide protection, justice and assistance to Syria’s victims.
In particular, Russia and China have blocked any meaningful initiative at the Security Council to ensure accountability or improve access to humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, influential governments of the global South, namely India, Brazil and South Africa, have expressed concern for the situation but have not supported concerted action to help civilians in need.
Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, said:”There are no innocent bystanders to the Syrian conflict.None of the G-20 countries have done all they could to help save Syrian lives, and it’s high time they did. We know what most G-20 members are against, but what are they for?”
Human Rights Watch urged G-20 countries to provide urgent humanitarian relief for millions affected by the Syrian crisis; stop arms flows to abusive forces; and press for the prosecution of war crimes suspects.
According to the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, the number of refugees from the Syrian conflict recently topped 2 million, plus another 4.2 million people internally displaced. Half of those needing assistance are children. The International Committee of the Red Cross has reported acute shortages of vital medical supplies. (ANI)