Pinheiro:”In Syria nobody, no party, is respecting any rules of engagement”

NEW YORK (CIHAN)- Security Council members met today (25 July) with Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro and Karen AbuZayd of the Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on Syria in a closed Arria-formula format session.

After the meeting, Pinheiro told reporters that accountability is “at the very centre of the Commission’s work.”

He said in the conflict in Syria “nobody, no party, is respecting any rules of engagement. And this is terrific as who is suffering because of this impunity, of this disrespect for the rules of engagement is the civilian population that continues to pay the price of this conflict.”

The work of the Commisson has, over the course of three years, collected evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria.

The Commission’s investigations have found evidence of deliberate targeting of civilians, indiscriminate attacks, attacks on schools, hospitals and mosques, and punitive imposition of sieges and blockades.

Speaking about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) rebel group, AbuZayd said “we are gathering as much information as we can about ISIS and about the violations they commit in the same way that we do about everyone else, by interviewing people who have been their victims. And we do have information on all of these things. It’s a bit newer, so we have a bit less information than about earlier groups, but I am assuming that it will accumulate quickly.”

Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant of the United Kingdom who sponsored the meeting expressed disappointment that “despite the efforts of many, many people, including the UN Secretary -General, John Kerry, my own Foreign Minister, but many others also in the region, that it is not been possible to reach an agreement on a sustainable cease fire” in Gaza.

The “Arria-formula meetings” are very informal, confidential gatherings which enable Security Council members to have a frank and private exchange of views, within a flexible procedural framework, with persons whom the inviting member or members of the Council believe it would be beneficial to hear andor to whom they may wish to convey a message.