ECLJ Oral Statement at the UN during the general debate on 14th of June 2017.
Thank you Mr. President,
In February of 2017, the ECLJ submitted its second written and oral testimony to this Council requesting that the United Nations (U.N.) join other international bodies and publically proclaim that Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria are victims of genocide and deserving of international assistance and protection. Yet again, this body has remained silent while the Islamic State (“ISIS”) has continued its barbaric work.
The actions of ISIS against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria clearly embody the definition of genocide as enshrined in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The ISIS campaign to destroy these religious minorities and decimate their homelands and cultures undoubtedly meets the definition of genocide, and as long as the UN does not recognize it as such, these vulnerable groups remain unprotected and in peril.
We got the report of a Christian Syrian woman who saw “‘Christians being killed and tortured, and . . . children being beheaded in front of their parents’”. She said, “250 children . . . were put in the dough mixer, they were kneaded. The oldest one of them was four-years-old”. ISIS tortured a boy while demanding his father and two others renounce Christianity, before executing all four by crucifixion. Eight Christian women were publically raped and beheaded. There are “mass graves of Christians”.
The victims of ISIS’s genocide deserve the recognition and protection of the international community. It is imperative that the U.N. acknowledge the ISIS campaign for what it is – genocide – end these atrocities, and seek justice for the victims.
While the ECLJ calls for swift and decisive action by the international community to stop the genocide and protect the victims, it also understands that first the U.N. must recognize that the atrocities constitute genocide.