Guterres calls for the establishment of an institution to reveal the fate of 100,000 missing persons in Syria

Guterres calls for the establishment of an institution to reveal the fate of 100,000 missing persons in Syria

Mar 30 2023

ARK News... The Secretary-General of the United Nations renewed his call to the General Assembly to establish a new body to reveal the fate of the missing in Syria and said that the Syrians deserve to know what happened to their loved ones, stressing the importance of this for justice and achieving peace and reconciliation.

The call came during a session held by the General Assembly to listen to a briefing on the Secretary-General's report on missing persons in Syria. The report was prepared in response to the Assembly's decision issued in December 2021, which included the Secretary-General's call to conduct a study on strengthening efforts to clarify the fate and whereabouts of missing persons in Syria.

In Tuesday's session, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the whereabouts and fate of about 100,000 Syrians remain unknown and that people in every part of the country and from all groups to which the parties belong have missing loved ones, including family members who have been forcibly disappeared, kidnapped, tortured and arbitrarily detained.

He added, "The majority of these are men - they leave behind women from their relatives who declare their families in impossible circumstances, and at the same time undertake search trips, often terrifying and treacherous, for their children, husbands, brothers or fathers."

Guterres praised the courageous work of the associations of Syrian families, victims and survivors, and other civil society associations. Guided by their views and advice, the Secretary-General's report issued in August outlined the framework for a solution, the cornerstone of which is "the creation by the United Nations General Assembly of a new international institution to clarify the fate and whereabouts of missing persons and to provide support to victims and their families."

He stressed the need to work with determination and urgency to find a solution to this painful situation, and urged all Member States to take action in this regard. The Secretary-General touched on the suffering of the Syrian people over 12 years of war brutality, systematic atrocities, deprivation, and grief.

He said last month's devastating earthquake had exacerbated humanitarian needs, which were already at their highest levels.

He added that the children of Syria become young without living a single day without war. He said that Syrians deserve to live in peace and security and have some hope for the future, as well as to know the truth about the fate of their loved ones.

He stressed the importance of this for justice, peace, and reconciliation.

The Secretary-General referred to his previous work as the head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for 10 years and said that he witnessed several years before the Syrian crisis how Syria opened its borders and the Syrian people opened their homes to more than a million Iraqi refugees who fled the war.

"There were no Iraqi refugee camps in Syria, rather they lived in Syrian communities. It breaks my heart to see people of such warm and welcoming nature suffering so much. The international community has a moral obligation to help alleviate their plight," he added. He called for living up to this commitment.