Discuss Syria at G20, says rights group

New York, Sep 5 : The discussion about Syria when G20 leaders meet in St. Petersburg should address the member countries' abysmal response to the Syrian crisis, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.

While G20 leaders are unlikely to agree on the response to the alleged chemical attack on Syria's suburbs or the big picture, they should at least agree on concrete measures that can provide protection, justice and assistance to Syria's victims, it said.

In particular, Russia and China have blocked any meaningful initiative at the Security Council to ensure accountability or improve access to humanitarian aid.

Meanwhile, influential governments of the global South, namely India, Brazil and South Africa, have voiced concern over the situation but have not supported concerted action to help civilians in need, it said.

"There are no innocent bystanders to the Syrian conflict," said Peggy Hicks of Human Rights Watch.

"None of the G20 countries have done all they could to help save Syrian lives, and it's high time they did."

Human Rights Watch urged G20 countries to provide urgent humanitarian relief for millions affected by the Syrian crisis; stop arms flows to abusive forces; and press for the prosecution of war crimes suspects.

--IANS (Posted on 05-09-2013)

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