Germany pledges €1m to support UN investigation & criminal prosecution of serious crimes commited in Syria

16 March 2017
Sigmar Gabriel and Antonio Guterres

Pledge continues Germany’s long-term commitment to criminal prosecution of breaches of international criminal law

The horrendous conflict in Syria has raged for six years with no end in sight. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has pledged 1 million Euros to the United Nations in order to support their investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the most serious crimes under International Law committed in Syria.

What began as peaceful protests against oppressive government has since turned into one of the most horrendous conflict of our time which has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people. Half of the Syrian population has fled, hundreds of thousands are denied access to humanitarian assistance and are being starved and driven out as a result of sieges. Civilian infrastructure is repeatedly attacked from the air and there are widespread allegations of torture.

Holding perpetrators accountable

Speaking on the conflict’s anniversary, Gabriel said: "We cannot sit idly by as human rights are disregarded and international humanitarian law is repeatedly violated in Syria", adding that the groundwork needed to be laid to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Foreign Minister pledged 1 million Euros to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to support the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Those Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in Syria.

Long-term commitment to criminal prosecution

In 2014, Germany co-sponsored a UN resolution that would have referred the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court but was ultimately prevented by vetoes from Russia and China. Additionally, Germany is a member of the UN Human Rights Council’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry. The recent pledge continues Germany’s long-term commitment to criminal prosecution of breaches of international criminal law.

Return to negotiations

After six years of war, Gabriel called upon all parties to with the necessary will to conduct earnest negotiations with the necessary will to reach a compromise in order to endthe horror experienced by the Syrian people. Gabriel said, that despite all the setbacks "we need to continue our work to ensure the negotiations in Geneva to bring about a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria are continued".

© German Embassy London