To stand with Iraq in their reconstruction and reconciliation efforts [fr]
Statement by Mrs Sheraz Gasri, Legal Adviser of the Permanent Representation of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 4 December 2018
We would like to join others in wishing Côte d’Ivoire every success during its presidency of the Security Council for the month of December, and we congratulate China on its presidency in November.
I also wish to reiterate the condolences offered by President Emmanuel Macron to the American people following the death of former President Bush.
We would like to congratulate Mr. Karim Khan, Special Adviser and Head of the Investigative Team established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2379 (2017), on his appointment and progress report (see S/2018/1031). We hope to see him appear regularly before the Security Council to report on the progress of the work of the Investigative Team.
The international community, including France, has stood alongside the Iraqi authorities in the fight against terrorism. We are now also standing with them in their reconstruction and reconciliation efforts, without which there can be no lasting peace in Iraq. A few days ago, President Macron made a pledge to the fund launched by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad, who embodies hope for the Iraqi people and for all the victims of Da’esh regardless of their ethnicity, religion or gender. France’s contribution to the fund will go towards the reconstruction of Sinjar, a region particularly scarred by the abuses of Da’esh, as pointed out by Mr. Khan earlier.
Furthermore, in 2019 France will host the next follow-up conference of the Paris action plan in support of victims of ethnic and religious violence in the Middle East. The plan includes an important component on the fight against impunity in terms of technical assistance, training personnel and identifying victims and providing them psychological support. A fund for victims of ethnic and religious violence was also set up. We believe that the operationalization of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant will fully contribute to that goal.
Solid foundations have been put in place over the past three months for the Investigative Team to fulfil the mandate set by the Security Council in resolution 2379 (2017) and its terms of reference, in keeping with United Nations policies and best practices. In that regard, we take note of the report of the Secretary-General (A/73/253) that outlines the policy of non-sharing by international accountability mechanisms of evidence for use in the context of criminal proceedings in which the death penalty could be imposed or carried out. Three points seem essential to support the Special Adviser and his Investigative Team.
The first point is that the Investigative Team must have the resources it needs, starting with financial resources. That has been said several times before me. We also call on the Special Adviser to ensure that staff members are recruited in such a way as to ensure diversity in terms of gender, language and legal tradition.
The second element is cooperation — first with Iraq. We welcome the commitment of the newly elected Iraqi Government and the establishment of a steering committee to set the terms for that cooperation. We also note the concern of the Investigative Team with respect to involving all the relevant actors in Iraq, including non-governmental organizations, religious minorities and victims’ representatives. Cooperation with United Nations mechanisms is also important. We particularly welcome cooperation with the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, which has a broad mandate to protect human rights and support the rule of law. The cooperation of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, and its Team of Experts is also essential, as recalled earlier by the representative of Kazakhstan.
The third aspect is support for justice. The Investigative Team must collect and store evidence that could be used in fair and equitable court proceedings, first in Iraq. We support the efforts of the Iraqi authorities to strengthen the judicial and governance systems. In addition, the victims of Da’esh must have access to justice everywhere. That is something the Investigative Team should also monitor.
Finally, France will continue to support national reconciliation and the fight against impunity, which are inextricably linked. The Investigative Team is an important tool that is complementary to the measures undertaken by the Iraqi authorities to ensure that all the most serious crimes committed in Iraq are brought before the courts, whoever the perpetrators and victims may be. Iraq was able to defeat Da’esh militarily, to hold parliamentary elections in good conditions and to proceed with the appointment of new authorities. It is now important to work towards the implementation of inclusive governance that is based on the rule of law and that serves the interests of all segments of Iraqi society, in stability and prosperity, with the support of the international community