UN experts call for human rights-based deal at Syria conference

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Chaloka Beyani

United Nations independent human rights experts are calling for a peace conference on Syria to agree on measures to swiftly end violence in the country.

In an open letter, the experts advocate for a durable peace in Syria that has the protection of human rights as a core obligation and objective.

They pledge to support and assist all positive initiatives to end the conflict and ensure protection of human rights.

One of the signatories, Chaloka Beyani the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons believes a ceasefire can be negotiated at the meeting in Switzerland.

"Some statements were made by the government of Syria in the past week that they will be prepared to have as ceasefire. You would recall that this is one of the conditions of Kofi Annan, the former UN Spedcial Envoy, had emphasised. But at that time it was impossible. But I think that it now does seem that there are possibilities for that."

The experts have expressed alarm at civilian deaths in the three-year conflict that has claimed over 100,000 lives, displaced an estimated 6.5 million people and turned 2.4 million others into refugees in neighbouring countries.

Talks to resolve the conflict in Syria are beginning in Montreaux, Switzerland on Wednesday and continuing in Geneva on Friday.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

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