New Democrats strongly condemn the latest brutal massacre by the Syrian government against its own citizens, including children, in the city of Houla. It was a brutal crime in clear violation of earlier commitments by the Syrian government to cease the use of violence against civilians.
Our thoughts are with the people of Syria and the survivors of Saturday's massacre. We are deeply saddened by the continued and growing violence against civilians. There can be no excuse for the kind of atrocities that have taken place in Syria. Perpetrators must bear responsibility and face accountability for refusing to end this brutal crackdown.
Unfortunately, earlier optimism for a UN-led effort to establish a ceasefire has been replaced by growing anxiety over violence against civilians and a full scale civil war.
The international community must speak with one voice in clearly and categorically condemning the violence and working to bring about a complete secession of hostilities. While more needs to be done, we are encouraged by the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution in condemning Saturday's massacre.
For its part, the Government of Canada must reach out to China and Russia at the highest levels, urging their leadership to play an active and decisive role in achieving an effective ceasefire that saves the lives of innocent civilians as well as negotiating a roadmap to reforms that respond to the legitimate demands of the Syrian people.
Canada must also offer emergency humanitarian aid to refugees who are fleeing the violence in Syria.
New Democrats stand in solidarity with those who aspire for peace, democratic governance and the protection of human rights. We hold these values to be universal.