Dutch minister calls for funds for Syria war crimes database

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is hosting a meeting to discuss progress in setting up an independent program to gather and analyze evidence of war crimes in Syria's civil war and prepare files for future prosecutions.

Foreign Minister Bert Koenders told the meeting Thursday that the database, established late last year by the United Nations General Assembly, will send a message that while diplomatic efforts to halt the war are faltering, efforts to ensure accountability for atrocities continue.

He says, "If justice is our goal, then we cannot sit back and wait until the war ends."

Koenders appealed for funding for the program, which will be based in Geneva and needs US$13 million (12.3 million euros) in its first year.