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U.S. Mission to UNESCO Press Release

U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO David Killion strongly objects to Syria’s reappointment to UNESCO Committee on Conventions and Recommendations

 On November 11, UNESCO’s new Executive Board organized itself according to UNESCO’s Constitution and Rules of Procedure, which unfortunately resulted because of a clean slate process in Syria being reappointed to the Conventions and Recommendations Committee (CR), whose mandate includes examining human rights cases. 

 We should not allow the Syrian regime to stand as a judge of other countries’ human rights record while it systematically violates the human rights of its citizens, commits acts of sexual violence against women and children, and murders its own people.  The regime has also repeatedly acted to silence the voice of the Syrian people and to repress independent media attempting to report on its misdeeds. 

 The Syrian regime has made it clear that it will not cooperate with UN human rights mechanisms or the Arab League.  It refused to engage with the independent international Commission of Inquiry and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and it has failed to comply with its commitments under the Arab League’s Plan of Action. 

 The Syrian regime’s actions are an affront to the dignity and human rights of the Syrian people, and it is not fit to sit on this body.  We plan to seek Syria’s removal from the CR.  We look forward to working with the Arab League and other member states to this end at the upcoming Executive Board.