The Syria Campaign has initiated a petition urging the United Arab Emirates to revoke the invitation extended to Syrian regime President Bashar al-Assad to attend the 28th session of the World Climate Action Summit.
The petition, signed by over 4,435 individuals worldwide thus far, emphasizes that instead of holding the Syrian regime accountable, Assad is being offered “the perfect opportunity to whitewash his crimes against humanity in his first international conference since 2011.”
The Syrian organization cautioned that if Assad were to participate in the UN climate talks, any handshake or photo opportunity with him would amount to a “dangerous betrayal of the victims of atrocities in Syria.”
The organization derided the notion that Assad is genuinely “concerned with the climate and protecting the planet,” highlighting his decade-long track record of besieging and bombing entire Syrian towns and cities, displacing millions, and intentionally setting fire to farmers’ fields to starve the Syrian populace.
Furthermore, the Syria Campaign noted that the regime has deployed chemical weapons 222 times over the past 12 years and is determined “to eliminate anyone and anything that challenges its authority.” It pointed out that just in the past month, regime forces bombed seven hospitals and 13 schools, resulting in the deaths of 66 civilians in Northwestern Syria.
It accused both the UAE and the United Nations of contributing to Assad’s return to the global stage, effectively legitimizing the regime’s atrocities and sending a troubling message that “impunity is the new norm.”
Human Rights Watch had previously criticized the invitation to Assad to attend the “climate summit,” labeling it “disgraceful.” The organization expressed concern that a conference aimed at promoting ambitious climate action could be exploited to reintroduce the regime’s government onto the international stage without any effort to ensure accountability for its major violations.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.