Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Gennady Kuzmin at UNSC briefing with regard to the 8th report of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'esh/ISIL
We thank Mr. Christian Ritscher for his substantive briefing and summary of six months of the work of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD). We studied closely UNITAD’s 8th report.
We welcome finalization of the initial case assessment report on development and usage of chemical and biological weapons by terrorists in Iraq. As we take it from the report, the use of weapons of this kind was encouraged by ISIL leaders. We hope that the Investigative Team will double its efforts to collect and analyze all information relating to ISIL’s chemical program in Iraq.
It would be naïve to think that, if ISIL had a chemical weapons program in Iraq, they would not use similar approaches outside this country, namely in the neighboring Syria. Besides, if at the same time a Western coalition is busy overthrowing the legitimate government of this neighboring state, terrorist have even more chances to evade responsibility. The blame will be cast upon the unwanted government, and a series of missile strikes will be launched against its facilities. You see what I mean? This is the recipe that three UNSC permanent member states, the US, UK, and France, used back on 14 April 2018 when they carried out an act of “unprovoked and unjustified aggression of choice”, targeting the Syrian Douma (suburb of Damascus) with land and sea-based cruise missiles.
UNITAD keeps a good pace at investigating into ISIL’s central “treasury”. We assume this is one of the most promising tracks in terms of collection of evidence with a view to discovering ISIL’s main internal linkages, and maybe identifying sponsors of this organization.
Russian delegation welcomes the investigation of crimes against the communes of Sunnis, Christians, Kakais, Shabaks, Shia Turkmens. We also welcome that evidence continues to be collected on the aspects of investigation that have already been completed – crimes against Yazidis in Sinjar, killings of students of the Tikrit academy, executions of Shia inmates at the Badush Central Prison.
We underscore that UNITAD’s mission is not confined to collection of evidence alone. In the first place, the Investigative Team should support Iraq’s domestic efforts aimed at holding terrorists to account in the framework of Iraq’s national legal system. Iraqi authorities should be the main recipient of the evidence collected by UNITAD. This is explicitly stated in resolution 2379. So we call to ensure access to evidence for them. This will expedite the process of bringing the perpetrators of international crimes to justice.