Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Explanation of vote by Deputy Permanent Representative Maria Zabolotskaya after UNSC vote on the renewal of mandate of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by ISIL in Iraq (UNITAD)


Russia supported the establishment of UNITAD in accordance with Security Council resolution 2379, because its main task was to put on record crimes committed by ISIL (a terrorist organization posing threats to international peace and security) and its sponsors, as well as transfer of evidence of such criminal activities to the government of Iraq. All of this was done with the consent of the Iraqi government and upon its relevant request. Exactly this request provided a legal and political basis for the decision of the Security Council. Resolution 2379 defined the Iraqi authorities as the main recipients (to not be subject to any conditions) of the evidence collected by UNITAD.

For the six years that UNITAD has existed, Russia reminded of these key tasks of this bodies and called for transparent action and cooperation with the government of Iraq.  

However the Investigative Team failed to implement the main part of its mandate, i.e. support for national efforts of law enforcement and judicial bodies of Iraq, aimed at holding accountable ISIL members and their sponsors.  

Transparency of UNITAD started to raise more question from year to year. It collected evidence from some NGOs the list of which was not disclosed (for unclear reasons) even to the Security Council. The beneficiaries of the work of UNITAD were Western states who received information without consent from Iraq. As a matter of fact, the Security Council is not aware of the results of UNITAD's work, its accomplishments.

In this regard, Russia took note of and fully supported the demand of the government of Iraq to ensure expedited termination of UNITAD’s mandate by 17 September 2024. Russia voted in favor of UNITAD mandate renewal given an understanding that all these conditions will be met.

Within this time, UNITAD should hand over all the collected evidence to the Iraqi side, report what evidence had been shared with third countries and keep from sharing further evidence with third parties unless explicitly authorized by the Iraqi government. The Council also would like to study the results of UNITAD’s work not only in terms of the number of cases referred to someone else in third countries, but also on the merits of those cases. We look forward to receiving this information from final reports by Secretary-General and Head of UNITAD in the next reporting period.

We trust that observance of these recommendations of the Council will expedite the process of holding to account not only ISIL terrorists, but also those who finance them.

Thank you.

Video of the statement