United Nations launches campaign to reveal fate of missing persons in Syria

NEW YORK — As part of the UN’s efforts to reveal the fate of detainees and those forcibly disappeared in Syria, the Secretary-General Guterres launched a study “on how to strengthen efforts to reveal the fate and clarify the whereabouts of the missing in Syria, identify the remains, and provide support to families”.

United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, said on Wednesday that, “Syria is one of the contexts in which there are the largest number of detained, kidnapped and missing persons in the world.”

The UN envoy expressed his solidarity with the Syrian families and the associations supporting the completion of this study, pointing out the importance of realizing the value of the study by member states to create a path to resolving the file of the missing.

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria (IICIS) issued a statement last June calling for the urgent deployment of a mechanism to reveal the fate of the missing.

On 30 August, the International Day for the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the European Syriac Union (ESU) highlighted the kidnapping of Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Holeb [Aleppo] Youhanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Boulos Yaziji by unidentified gunmen, the arrest of head of the Syriac Cultural Association in Syria Saeed Malki” by the Syrian regime, and the disappearance of Chaldean couple Hormuz and Shmuni Diril from their village in Turkey.