Syria: Italy supports IIIM’s activities to achieve accountability

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NEW YORK, APRIL 21 – Almost five years ago, on 21 December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 71/248, establishing the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to assist in the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under international law committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011. It is more commonly referred to as “the Mechanism”, or “IIIM”. Today the head of the Mechanism, Catherine Marchi-Uhel presentd the seventh report to the General Assembly.

Addressing the meeting, the Italian Deputy Permanent Representative Stefano Stefanile pointed out that this year marks a decade of terrible crisis in Syria, which has severely disrupted the fabric of the Syrian society, bringing about unimaginable levels of loss, suffering and destruction. The only way out to such a prolonged crisis is to urgently progress with the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, charting a path towards a peaceful solution to the conflict and starting with the organization of free and fair elections, he said, adding that “a pivotal basis for a lasting peace is ensuring full accountability of the most serious crimes committed during the conflict, in particular war crimes and crimes against humanity. This is not only a moral imperative, but also a deterrent of future violations and a fundamental element of any reconciliation process”.

Defining “particularly shocking” the pattern observed in Syria over the last ten years, with indiscriminate violence targeting often the most vulnerable such as women, girls, children and minorities, the Italian Ambassador called for an end to impunity as an essential condition for a sustainable peace in Syria: “It is in that spirit that Italy has been strongly supporting the IIIM, including consistent and adequate provision of funds, as well as the other UN bodies established for the purpose of accountability in Syria – as a key mechanism for the collection, consolidation, preservation and analysis of evidence of violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law”. (@OnuItalia)