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On 10 February 2023, Special Rapporteurs of the Human Rights Council made an urgent Appeal to facilitate aid to Syria by removing the current sactions imposed by a certain number of countries on Syria due to the massive and long-lasting human rights violations linked to the armed conflict which began in March 2011.
The Appeal was led by Professor Alena Douhan, Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights. Professor Douhan is professor of international law at the Belarusian State University in Minsk.
Special Rapporteurs of the U.N. Human Rights Council are independent experts.
They are not members of the U.N. Secretariat although Secretariat staff participate in research and editing. The Special Rapporteurs are not paid but their expenses are covered when in Geneva or on missions in the field. The idea for the creation of the Special Rapporteurs was to free them, to the extent possible, of pressures from governments or from the U.N. Secretariat. They report to the Human Rights Council, usuallly at every session.
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Turkiya and Syria.
The earthquake which hit parts of Turkiya and Syria was particularly catastrophic. It is estimated that some 50,000 persons have been killed and many more uprooted. In the case of Syria, the quake hit parts of the country that were already devastated by the civil war. Some of the effected areas were under the control of the government; other areas were held by opposition groups or other forces. Immediate aid and longer term recovery is a priority.
Sanctions have limited the number of frontier crossings from Turkiya. Blocks on financial transfers limit the possibility of the Syrian diaspora to send funds to family and relatives.
Promote negotiations in good faith in Syria.
The Association of World Citizens, which has been seeking to promote negotiations in good faith in Syria, nearly from the start of the armed uprising, joins in the spirit of the Appeal of the U.N. Special Rapporteurs. Steps must be taken quickly. Many lives depend on positive action.
René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.