Statement by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
On Item 64: Report of the Human Rights Council
At the 95th plenary meeting of the sixty-sixth session of General Assembly

February 13, 2012

Mr. President,

At the outset, I would like to commend your great initiative to convene this plenary meeting of the General Assembly in a timely manner to address the imminent situation in Syria. I would also like to thank High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navi Pillay for her informative briefing on the deteriorating human rights situation in the country.

Japan shares the grave concerns of the international community over the increasing use of force, including heavy weapons, by the Syrian authorities against the expression of Syrian people’s aspirations for reforms, which is causing many deaths and injuries including those of women and children. Japan expresses its condolences to all the victims of the various atrocities in Syria.

Japan fully supports the continued efforts and strong commitment made by the High Commissioner for Human Rights to improve the situation in Syria.

Japan has been a co-sponsor of the Human Rights Council resolutions on Syria and welcomes the report of the Commission of Inquiry. Japan shares the profound concern about the Commission’s findings that gross and systematic violations of human rights have been committed by the Syrian authorities, including those that may amount to crimes against humanity.

Japan is particularly concerned with the reports that the number of child victims has been increasing and that children have been arbitrarily arrested, tortured and sexually abused while in detention. Our special concerns also go to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country, including the shortage of medical and food supplies, which are fundamental to the lives of Syrian people.

Japan fully supports the efforts and strong commitment made by the Secretary- General. Japan also welcomes the initiative of the League of Arab States to bring about stability and democracy in Syria. Japan supports the measures taken by the League of Arab States and other relevant countries against the Syrian authorities and has joined those collective efforts by adopting appropriate measures..

In order to prevent further bloodshed, Japan joins calls from the international community for the Syrian authorities to halt the violence immediately and implement the Arab League peace plan promptly and fully. Japan believes that is the only credible road to a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis.

Mr. President,

An urgent and unified response by the international community is needed now to improve the situation in Syria. However, another Security Council draft resolution on the Syrian situation was rejected. We are deeply disappointed at this failure of action. The Security Council, which consisted of responsible members of the international community, should have issued a strong and unified message to bring this inhumane and intolerable situation to an immediate end.

Mr. President,

I thank you again for giving this timely opportunity today for all the member states to stand up and speak out about this important issue of international concern. We strongly hope that the General Assembly will send our strong and united message to the world, and the Syrian people in particular, and contribute to the solution of the crisis in Syria.

Japan will continue to make every diplomatic effort possible, in close coordination with the international community, for the immediate end of this violence and a peaceful and durable solution to the crisis.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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