Omran Center for Strategic Studies’ expert on economic development, Mr. Mohammed Al-Abdullah, participated in the International Refugee Congress in Istanbul, held on May 10-11, 2018. The conference was organized by Oxfam Turkey, and was the first attempt to submit a draft Global Compact on Refugees to the UN by civil society organizations concerned with refugees in all countries of the world. Draft proposals will be submitted to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The meeting brought together experts and civil society actors from around the world to develop policy briefs and help alleviate the burdens and responsibilities of refugees on host countries, and help with policy recommendations for integration of refugees in host markets and communities.
The Congress brought together a diverse group of civil society organizations concerned with refugee issues from several countries to participate in the drafting of a unified Compact to be submitted to the United Nations. The Congress was attended by prominent personalities related to refugee issues from United Nations organizations, international organizations, experts and academics. The conference included several group sessions to discuss among participants and to contribute effectively to highlight priorities from the perspective of refugees.
Additionally, participants were split into smaller groups for specialized mini-panels to focus more on the sub-themes of the conference in order to allow participants to present their ideas and proposals. The panels focused on six key themes: durable solutions and shared responsibility, access to services, legal rights of refugees, women and displacement, representation and participation. At the conclusion of the conference, a joint document was prepared, which included the proposals and recommendations of the participants in these workshops. The conference was attended by 130 participants from 27 countries.
Mr. Yaser Tabbara Researcher at Omran Center for Strategic Studies, poses the question of international accountability in Syria's war, after a regime soldier has been prosecuted for a war crime. Mohammed Abdullah claimed asylum in Sweden in 2015. But activists recognized him from online photo, smiling, surrounded by dead bodies. So, instead of receiving refuge, he got an eight-month prison sentence for mistreating corpses.
Yaser Said: 8 month for something so horrific is a little bit more than a slap on the rest, but still it is significant being the first incident of international accountability for such crimes, he added that the lack of evidence are considered a major problem and a weak link for the universal jurisdiction. He answered the question of "what about the head commander committing these crimes?"; International criminal justice lacks enforceability, the Russian and Chinese have been putting the main obstacles to the international criminal court, that is purely because political reasons.
Yaser ended the interview saying that not all soldiers should be banned from asylum, it's all depend on their acts on the ground and on what they were force to do while the regime was committing his crimes, and to attain absolute justice is something most of the Syrian have given up on