Holy See’s UN
Observer warns against a military intensification of Syria’s conflict
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the UN in
Geneva, has described Syria’s armed conflict as a national tragedy that risks
intensifying regional and global conflicts and could melt down the entire
country. Please see below the full transcript of Archbishop Tomasi’s statement
delivered at the 23rd session of the Human Rights Council.
debate on "The deteriorating situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab
and the recent killings in Al Qusayr"
Geneva, 29 May
1. Violence in Syria has proven once again
that it is the terrain of the violation of all human rights. Lives have been
destroyed by the tens of thousands; a million and half persons have been forced
to flee abroad as refugees; more than four million people have lost their homes;
and civilians have been targeted by warring parties in total disregard of
humanitarian law. This enormous national tragedy risks to intensify regional and
global conflicts, to transform ambitions for political power into ethnic and
religious fundamentalist confrontations, to melt down the entire
2. The way forward is not by a military intensification of the
armed conflict but by dialogue and reconciliation, a process that the proposed
diplomatic conference can help to promote, if the political will is there to
sustain it. An immediate ceasefire will stop the bloodshed, a useless and
destructive tragedy that mortgages the future of Syria and the Middle East. As
Pope Francis said: “How much blood has been shed! And how much suffering must
there still be before a political solution to the crisis will be found?” The
Holy See all along has insisted that only peaceful negotiations will lead to an
acceptable solution of the crisis and that participation, in an eventual
government and in positions of responsibility, by representatives of all
citizens can ensure a constructive and lasting peaceful coexistence of all
component communities of Syrian society.
3. Children in refugee camps and
in conflict areas, traumatized and forcibly deprived of their rights, suffer the
most of the consequences of violence and call for generous solidarity on the
part of the international community. Only in this way can they and their
families hope again for a normal existence. In particular unaccompanied minors
deserve specific attention and assistance to prevent that they fall victims of
trafficking and other forms of exploitation.
4. Silencing the guns is the
priority. Besides, the necessity of overcoming any pessimism toward undertaking
and achieving successful negotiations should be seen against the death caused
daily by the use of guns, a cost the people of Syria have already paid too much.
This moral responsibility is unavoidable and it calls for a rejection of
personal revenge and of inordinate ambitions of dominance by any
5. In conclusion, Mr. President, the Holy See Delegation restates
its call for negotiations and for putting an end to violence. People should take
precedence over power and revenge. Their unspeakable suffering must not be
ignored by any of the parties involved as they are all call to act now for
peace, reconstruction and a new beginning of human relations based on human
rights and the common interest of the one human family.
Thank you, Mr.
from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=696639
of the Vatican Radio website