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Minister Creighton condemns “violent and vicious” actions of Syrian regime at Human Rights Council

The Minister for European Affairs, Ms Lucinda Creighton T.D., today addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. 

The Minister said that Ireland remains extremely concerned by the situation in Syria:

“The Human Rights situation in Syria is an affront to the world… [We have] witnessed, and it will not easily forget, a violent and vicious assault against innocent people in Syria: attacks on crowded centres of population; the deaths of well over five thousand people last year; the use of hospitals as detention and torture facilities. It is an atrocious litany.”

The actions of the Assad regime and the Syrian forces against their own people can almost certainly be described as crimes against humanity.”

In her address the Minister reaffirmed Ireland’s support for the advancement of human rights and the important role that the United Nations can play in this regard:

“Ireland has always considered that human rights cannot be viewed only in a one dimensional light. Political rights, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly are foundation stones of human dignity and human well being. But we also, in an interlinked way, have to strengthen economic, social and cultural rights as an indispensable dimension in the full enjoyment of all human rights… We profoundly believe that the Human Rights Council has an indispensable role to play in strengthening a culture of full respect for human rights.   For this reason, Ireland will be a candidate for election to the Human Rights Council later this year.”

Speaking at the Council the Minister also recalled the historic changes that had occurred in the Middle East and North Africa over the past year:      

“The forces set loose by the Arab Spring have changed the world.  Now, just as we must strongly support the new beginnings in many countries across the region, so we need to also remember that the work of building, and of consolidation of gains made, will not be an easy journey.”

In addition to addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Minister will also call on the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Ms. Navanethem Pillay, and meet the Foreign Ministers of Macedonia, Serbia and Kyrgyzstan, during her visit to Geneva.

Read full speech here: