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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Continued momentum to address the heinous crimes committed by Da'esh in Iraq

Statement by Fergus Eckersley, UK Political Coordinator at the UN, at the Security Council briefing on UNITAD

2 December 2021

Thank you Mr President. First I'd like to welcome Christian Ritscher's appointment as Special Advisor and the momentum with which he is taking forward the work mandated by the Security Council in Resolution 2379. It's clear from the crimes described today by the Special Advisor and from the powerful words he quoted from Nadia Murad how important it is to hold Da'esh to account and we continue to strongly support the work of UNITAD to that effect. We also welcome the significant efforts of the Government of Iraq to progress accountability for Da'esh crimes as the Special Advisor said.

Above all, we commend the close collaboration between UNITAD and the Government of Iraq. For example the strengthening of legal and judicial frameworks is essential for the prosecution of Da'esh crimes, and this is an area where UNITAD can add particular value to national efforts. The UK encourages UNITAD's other efforts to support the Iraqi authorities, including through specialist training provided to Iraqi judges, capacity-building efforts, and the sharing of evidence in financial investigations. We look forward to seeing continued efforts to secure an evidence-sharing mechanism that provides assurances on the use of the death penalty and ensures the Government of Iraq can move ahead with the prosecutions. We also welcome the progress that UNITAD has made towards establishing a legal basis for the prosecution of perpetrators for the horrific mass killing at Badush prison in 2014 as we've heard today and we note the ground gained towards prosecuting senior ISIL leaders by the Financial Crimes Unit within UNITAD. The UK supports UNITAD's ongoing focus on investigations into the crimes committed by ISIL against minority communities and into the development and use of biological and chemical weapons by ISIL.

So we will continue to support UNITAD's work to address the heinous crimes committed by Da'esh and it is vital that we collectively hold perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide to account. Thank you.

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