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In response to the United Nations General Assembly resolution establishing an independent international mechanism to ensure accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria since March 2011, Anna Neistat, Amnesty International’s Senior Director of Research said:

“With this resolution, the General Assembly helps overcome the Security Council's deadlock on accountability and is the first step toward justice for thousands of victims.

“The situation in Syria continued to be one of the most heart-breaking tragedies of our time. It is also a clear example of the failure of the broken international system that was established – with the Security Council at its centre — to prevent the atrocities that shock the conscience of humanity. 

“By passing this resolution, the international community is standing up against the Security Council’s utter inability to act in the face of gruesome atrocities being committed before the eyes of the entire world. This is a crisis that, over five years, has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and caused unimaginable suffering to the people of Syria.

“The overwhelming support for the resolution by UN member states sends a strong message to all parties to the conflict in Syria that war crimes and crimes against humanity will not be tolerated. Perpetrators will be held accountable. Impunity is not an option.

“It is now imperative that we work to make sure this resolution is swiftly and fully implemented and that this mechanism is capable of leading to the prosecution of those individuals who are responsible for the crimes that have been taken place, and continue to take place in Syria.”