Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the UNGA plenary meeting during the consideration of the report of the International Independent Mechanism on Syria

Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the UNGA plenary meeting during the consideration of the report of the International Independent Mechanism on Syria

Mr. President,

I wish to thank Madame Catherine Marchi Uhel for the presentation of the seventh report, and her and her team’s dedication and commitment to make the IIIM achieve its goals. Ukraine has been one of active IIIM supporters all the way from the idea of its establishments and existence and keenly follows its progress.

As we align ourselves to the statement delivered by the European Union (tbc), I would like to add the following remarks in my national capacity.

The people of Syria have suffered enough. The longer the war of the Syrian regime against its people continues with direct support of Assad’s Russian ally, the harder implications are. Ensuring accountability for crimes committed in Syria since the beginning of the ten-year bloody conflict is not only a core demand stemming from the universal rule of law, but a moral obligation of the international community towards ensuring justice for victims. There is no room for impunity, where such heinous crimes are taking place.

Establishing accountability for the perpetrators of grave violations and abuses as well as bringing justice to the victims are important steps for reconciliation and sustainable peace, which should be based on a comprehensive political solution in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

Let me recall that just yesterday in this hall we discussed the reform of the UN Security Council and the restriction of the right of veto in particular. On too many occasions, we have witnessed how allies of the Syrian regime, foremost Russia, are abusing their powers to prevent such justice. And this has happened not only to the Syrian people. My own country, Ukraine, is a victim of Russia’s veto obsession.

Mr. President,

As one of co-sponsors of the Mechanism back in 2016, my delegation remains strongly convinced that the IIIM is absolutely necessary and highly relevant. At a time of a deadlock in the Security Council, the wider international community must think creatively about the way forward for ensuring accountability for those who committed and are committing massive, systematic and widespread crimes on the Syrian soil.

With this in mind, Ukraine echoes the call of a number of delegations to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

We take positive note that the mechanism has made a meaningful headway in implementing its mandate over the past year despite the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, this relates to using III M’s limited resources for the collection, consolidation, preservation and analyzing evidence of international humanitarian law and human rights violations and abuses, as well as preparing files in order to facilitate fair and independent criminal proceedings in the relevant courts.

In this vein, Ukraine endorses recommendations presented in the report, seeking to build upon the Mechanism’s cooperation with the United Nations, Member States and the civil society.

We cannot but also ment