Press release on the conference, Syria: the Path to Peace
On June 16, the fourth Side Event entitled Syria: the Path to Peace was held during the 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The event focused on the suffering of religious minorities and women in Syria and was organised by the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN Office and other international organisations in Geneva, the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) and the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation (IDC) in Paris.
The event was attended by Ambassador Alexei Borodavkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva; IDC President Natalia Narochnitskaya; Deputy Chair of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society Yelena Agapova; Archpriest Mikhail Gundyayev, representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to the World Council of Churches and other international institutions in Geneva; delegates from socio-political and academic communities and religious leaders, including some from Syria.
The reporters expressed serious concern over the acts of violence carried out in Syria by militants from Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State, terrorist organisations that have been prohibited in Russia, including the destruction of Christian churches, Muslim mosques and Jewish synagogues and the ejection of various religious groups from their historical locations. The speakers provided videos of the massacre of civilians by the illegal armed groups. Women, who are especially vulnerable, are forced to become the jihadists’ sex slaves, and those who refuse to comply are mercilessly killed.
The participants pointed out Russia’s role in the efforts to settle the conflict in Syria and to stabilise the situation in the region as a whole, as well as the strategic, moral and political importance of the liberation of Palmyra by the Syrian Army supported by Russia’s Aerospace Forces.
Russia will continue to highlight the human rights aspect of the conflict in Syria, including at the UN and other international platforms.