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The sight in recent weeks of Syrian delegations flying in and out of Geneva, Vienna, Astana and now Sochi to negotiate peace has fueled speculation that a political settlement to the Syrian conflict is in sight. The real question, however, is not will the fighting stop, but will justice be achieved. Unless the parties seeking a settlement seriously tackle the injustices that have been wrought upon the Syrian people one cannot hope for a sustainable peace.In carrying out the mandate of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic over the past six years, we have made findings that detail the massive suffering that crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes have inflicted on the Syrian people. Every one of the 6,000 individuals who has entrusted us with their stories did so hoping that it would spur the world into action to end the fighting, bring justice to the victims, and punish perpetrators.To achieve its goals this mechanism will need strong backing from U.N. member states and courts with jurisdiction to use its files.While Syrian victims crave accountability for the crimes they have endured, they also need immediate and tangible forms of justice.
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