ASSOCIATION OF WORLD CITIZENS
Associação dos Cidadãos do Mundo
Office to the United Nations
July 18, 2011
H. E. Mr. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota
Minister of External Relations
Ministério das Relações Exteriores
Esplanada dos Ministérios
As a Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) in Consultative Status with the United Nations (UN) and accredited with the UN Human Rights Council, the Association of World Citizens (AWC) is writing to urge You to support the current draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria.
As You may know, human rights is an essential part of the aims for which we work. We are pleased to enclose A World Citizen’s Agenda, which gives an overview thereof.
It has been over four months since the beginning of largely peaceful protests in Syria calling for political reform and for the Syrian President, Mr. Bashar al-Assad, to step down. The Syrian authorities’ response to their people’s demands has so far been brutal to say the least.
According to our sources, the human rights violations committed by the Syrian security forces and army since mass protests began in mid-March include unlawful killings and torture.
They appear to have been committed as part of a widespread—as well as systematic—attack on the civilian population and, in some cases, to amount to crimes against humanity.
That is why international human rights NGOs have called on the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC), to impose an arms embargo and to freeze the assets abroad of the Syrian President and his senior associates.
Regrettably, so far, the UN Security Council has been silent on Syria—failing to take action to help protect peaceful dissent in the country.
Some members of the Council have introduced a resolution on Syria which could be a first step toward a referral to the ICC. However, voting on the resolution is currently blocked by six other members—including Brazil.
The AWC believes Your country ought to show leadership and use its international influence to help stop the bloodshed in Syria and ensure accountability for abuses committed there.
The UN is one of the great repositories of the visions and hopes of humanity. Amidst the ruins of World War II, the peoples of the world articulated the urge to make a new beginning toward world law and structures for cooperation. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a crucial foundation to reduce the causes of conflict, to promote international equity and to advance social and economic progress.
Therefore, we are sure that You will make all efforts in order for Your Government to support the current draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria and thereby to join other members of the Council in calling on the Syrian Government to stop the use of tanks, snipers and torture to suppress peaceful dissent.
We thank You very much in advance for helping to uphold UN standards in Syria.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurance of our highest consideration.