GENEVA The United Nations top human rights forum strongly condemned Syria on Friday for "gross and systematic" violations by its forces, including executions, it said may amount to crimes against humanity.
The 47-member forum adopted a resolution put forward by the European Union by a vote of 37 states in favour and four against including China and Russia, with six abstentions.
The text called for the "main bodies" of the U.N. to consider a U.N. report which found that crimes of humanity had been committed and "take appropriate action".
It also established the new post of a special human rights investigator on Syria.
Syria's ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui, denounced the resolution as "politicised" and aimed at "closing the doors". He urged countries to vote against it.
The United States, which voted in favour, welcomed the result at the third special session held on Syria this year.
"We've set the stage in a very substantive way for strong action by the U.N. if other entities choose to take the opportunity," U.S. ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe told Reuters.
"The evidence we have seen leaves no doubt about the complicity of Syrian authorities and provides a very strong basis for accountability to go forward in other institutions where that is their mandate."
Asked whether this meant the International Criminal Court, she replied: "Absolutely, including the ICC if the Security Council chooses to refer this matter."
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Sophie Hares)
Trending On Reuters
A 27-year-old Syrian man denied asylum in Germany a year ago died on Sunday when he set off a bomb outside a crowded music festival in Bavaria, an official said, in the fourth violent attack in the country in less than a week. Full Article | Video
- Munich gunman planned attacks for a year - Bavarian officials
- Syrian refugee in Germany arrested after killing woman in machete attack
- Democrats in disarray on eve of convention to nominate Clinton
- Civilian casualties increase as Afghan troops battle Taliban - U.N.
- ASEAN breaks deadlock on South China Sea, Beijing thanks Cambodia for support