United Nations Security Council briefing on threats to International Peace and Security
Carolyn Oppong-Ntiri (Mrs)
Deputy Permanent Representative
December 04, 2023
BRIEFING ON UN INVESTIGATIVE TEAM TO PROMOTE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR CRIMES COMMITTED BY DA’ESH/ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ AND THE LEVANT (UNITAD)
I wish to thank the Special Adviser for presenting the eleventh report of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, and for the work of the entire UNITAD Team. Let me also welcome the Permanent Representative of Iraq to today’s meeting.
Ghana welcomes the progress made by the Team during the period under review in pursuit of accountability for serious crimes committed by Da’esh/ISIL. We hold the view that sustaining our commitment to the meaningful advancement of justice and accountability for all the atrocities committed by Da’esh/ISIL is the only way to respond to the legitimate calls by survivors and victims of ISIL’s crimes for justice and genuine national reconciliation. In this regard, I would like to highlight the following points:
First, we applaud UNITAD’s efforts to build on the progress that was made in previous reporting periods in advancing investigations in its lines of inquiry. The preparation and sharing of case assessment report on the manufacturing and use of chemical weapons by Da’esh/ISIL; preparation of report on sexual violence against women and girls committed by Da’esh/ISIL; and the advanced updates on case assessment reports on crimes committed against the Christian community represent significant achievements in this regard.
UNITAD’s commitment to share the analytical and structural findings regarding the various investigations with the Iraqi judiciary in the upcoming reporting period is a significant next step. We welcome this development and trust that the enrichment of evidentiary material will support domestic investigations and prosecutions, and ensure that there is no impunity for the heinous international crimes committed by Da’esh.
Secondly, Ghana applauds the continued cooperation between UNITAD and the Government of Iraq, including Iraqi judicial authorities. We are pleased to observe that UNITAD continued to focus its efforts on building the capacities of relevant Iraqi stakeholders through training on digital forensic methods and support for mass grave excavations. Indeed, thanks to the efforts of UNITAD, domestic capacity is being enhanced for the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed by Da’esh, even as holdings of documentary, testimonial and digital evidence have been enriched in support of such investigations and prosecutions.
Third, we note that the current report indicates the activities being undertaken by UNITAD in response to resolution 2697 (2023). We recognise that UNITAD is not only adjusting its priorities to meet the mandate requests, but has successfully determined modalities for information sharing with third States, and also communicated to the Iraqi authorities on what previous evidence had been shared with third States. In addition, we note that, following initial discussions with the Government of Iraq, the Team plans to focus on preparing a roadmap for the completion of its mandate and the necessary steps for closure in line with the request of the Government of Iraq.
As the Team undertakes these steps, we acknowledge that its work in pursuing justice will not be completed in a meaningful way by September 2024. However, it is important that despite the challenges that UNITAD foresees in the non-completion of its work, the Team will endeavour to work with the Government of Iraq to ensure that the expectations of the host Government on the future of the Team are fully met by September 2024. In this way, we will be able to maintain the credibility of the Iraqi people to take the accountability process forward, and also in recognition of UNITAD’s role in this process.
This being the last scheduled briefing on UNITAD before the end of our present term, allow me to take the opportunity to applaud UNITAD for the milestones it has reached towards the fulfilment of its mandate to promote accountability for core crimes committed by Da’esh/ISIL. One thing is evident. The establishment of an international investigative team, as in the case of UNITAD, can yield positive results, and offers useful lessons for global accountability. We reiterate our expectations for success in the common pursuit of justice and accountability.
I thank you.