Administration of North and East Syria establishes committee on missing persons in response to UN Resolution

ZALIN, Syria — The Foreign Relations Department of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) announced the establishment of the “Committee on Missing Persons in North and East Syria” in response to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. A/77/L79 dated 23 May 2023. The resolution calls for the creation of the “Independent International Institution for Missing Persons” in Syria, with a focus on clarifying the fate of missing individuals in the conflict-ridden region.

AANES welcomed the UN resolution, emphasizing its commitment to addressing humanitarian issues resulting from the prolonged conflict within Syrian borders. Among these issues, the matter of missing persons stands out as one of utmost significance, for both humanitarian and legal reasons.

The pain and anguish endured by the families of missing individuals were highlighted as the primary driving force behind AANES’s support for the establishment of the independent institution. It affirmed that families have the right to know the fate of their loved ones and to receive closure. The issue of missing persons was framed as not only a humanitarian crisis but also a legal imperative, aligned with the UN’s principles and resolutions.

The committee will be composed of legal experts and include a central committee headquartered in Zalin (Qamishli), as well as sub-committees in various areas governed by AANES. The committee’s primary objective is to collaborate and coordinate with relevant authorities in the pursuit of information about missing persons spanning the entirety of the Syrian conflict. Importantly, the committee is dedicated to impartiality, ensuring that its efforts extend to individuals regardless of gender, nationality, religion, or sect.

While the statement does not specify the exact date of the committee’s commencement of operations, it promises to release information on the committee’s operationalization and contact details at a later time.