Working to deliver justice for survivors of Daesh atrocities in Iraq

Thank you President, and let me start by welcoming the Representative of Iraq to the Chamber. We’d like to thank the Special Advisor for the expertise and dedication he and his team has shown in pursuing accountability for the crimes committed by Daesh.

Four and a half years since UNITAD started its work, the need for justice for Daesh’s appalling crimes is undiminished. As we’ve heard, these were crimes against the people, the history, and the culture of Iraq. Nadia Murad told the conference on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict in London last week that, and I quote: “Survivors around the world don’t need a call to action. We need action, period.” UNITAD is a key part of that work, working to deliver justice for survivors. So we commend the Government of Iraq for its engagement with UNITAD’s important work.

Let me highlight two areas of progress in particular from the last six months.

First, we welcome the breadth of cooperation between UNITAD and Iraq, as we’ve heard from the Special Advisor. In particular, we welcome technical assistance in relation to the excavation of several mass grave sites, information sharing, and tailored-assistance for investigations, and capacity building of the Iraqi judiciary and prosecutors, particularly relating to evidence collection. We also commend UNITAD’s assistance to Iraq on UN sanctions, including its plans to share information, which could help support designating Daesh members under the 1267 UN sanctions regime. We look forward to the conclusion of the relevant Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Iraq.

Second, we welcome the outreach that UNITAD has prioritised with affected communities in Iraq. This has built trust, and enabled the collection of testimonies that have been used in the prosecution of Daesh members around the world, drawing on the support and provision of assistance of UNITAD. President,

Let me reiterate the importance of collaboration between Iraq, including the Kurdistan Regional Government, and UNITAD. Wide ranging, and comprehensive coordination between all three is crucial for progress. Following Iraq’s elections, we are pleased to hear of the relationship that is being built between the new Iraqi government and UNITAD and we hope that collaboration will continue to deepen, and deliver justice for survivors.

For our part, we reiterate our strong support for UNITAD’s pursuit of accountability for Daesh atrocities, both in Iraq and around the world.

Thank you.

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