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7 ACTIONS IRELAND CAN TAKE ON THE SYRIA CRISIS

Trócaire calls on the Government of Ireland to:

  1. Use its position, engaging with other member states, to ensure the EU exercises its influence to bring about a permanent end to hostilities.  The fate of four million people in North West Syria subjected to prolonged military offensives must be acknowledged and there should be an appropriate response.
  2. Ensure that Ireland is a strong voice, through EU colleagues, in demanding accountability for the atrocities committed and ongoing.  Independent and creditable reports, including from the IIIM(1)  in January 2020, continue to document gross violations taking place and there cannot be immunity for such violations. 
  3. Meet with the Russian Ambassador to Ireland and make clear that Ireland views Russian actions in north west Syria to be unacceptable and in violation of International Humanitarian Law, particularly with regard to attacks on civilian populations.
  4. Call on the UN Secretary General to publish findings from the Board of Inquiry(2), which has investigated attacks on listed humanitarian facilities, and to-date are not made public.
  5. Change the current migration policy of Ireland and increase the resettlement of Syrian refugees to Ireland. 
  6. Engage the EU to accept significantly larger numbers of Syrian refugees and expand opportunities for resettlement and complementary pathways with a focus on those refugees who lack alternative durable solutions. The proposed Pact on Asylum and Migration is an opportunity for the EU and its Member States to change direction and for the EU to realise its commitment to the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration by implementing them in Europe.
  7. Increase humanitarian assistance to organisations responding to the unfolding crisis and remind parties to the conflict of their obligations under International Humanitarian Law to respect humanitarian access. Greater funding should be released through the Syria Cross Border Fund and donors should show greater flexibility with project parameters and compliance given the fluid context.
 

(1) International Impartial and Independent Mechanism, established following the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 71/248 in December 2016

(2) The Board of Inquiry was established by the UN Secretary General in August 2019 to investigate events in North-West Syria.  https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/sgsm19685.doc.htm