RAQA: A Syrian student walks to school past damaged buildings in the northern city of Raqqa, on September 23, 2021. - AFP

GENEVA: The State of Kuwait yesterday expressed grave concern over the fate of people missing in the conflict in Syria, including those who were kidnapped. Parties to the conflict are responsible for determining fate of people who were missing due to hostile operations and to establish channels of communication with their families during the search missions, Jamal Al-Ghunaim, Kuwait's Permanent Representative to the UN and International Organizations in Geneva, said.

Ghunaim, addressing UN Human Rights Council's session, supported a call on all parties to the conflict to take measures to prevent people from being missing, immediately release hundreds of individuals as well as urgently disclose fate of missing, including children. Kuwait believes there is no military solution for the 10-year-old conflict in Syria, he asserted, and a peaceful solution should meet aspirations of the Syrian people in line with the 2012 Geneva Communique and UN Security Council resolution 2254.

Kuwait "strongly condemns human rights violations against the Syrian people and calls for ending this conflict and finding a just and comprehensive solution meeting aspirations of all the Syrian people," he said. "The State of Kuwait is worried about continuous blatant violations of international humanitarian law and the international law on human rights by all parties of the Syrian conflict," he added.

Ghunaim also condemned "random and deliberate" assaults against innocent civilians. He recalled UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' call last year on all parties to conflicts around world to cease hostilities in order to provide humanitarian aid for people in need. He said military operations were posing a threat to lives of civilians and expressed worries about collapse of the health system in Syria due to declining number of hospitals and escape of health care workers.

Ghunaim urged all parties to allow aid to reach the internally displaced people (IDPs) "because millions of Syrians are suffering from shortage in basic needs in addition to their suffering from spread of COVID-19." The State of Kuwait, said Ghunaim, hosted, and participated in, international conferences for the Syrian people and pledged $1.7 billion. He thanked neighboring countries for hosting Syrian refugees. - KUNA