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Assemblea Generale – Meeting Informale sul briefing IIIM

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Sebastiano Cardi, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al briefing del “Head of 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 (IIIM) on the report 1 of the IIIM” —

Mr. President,

let me thank Madame Marchi-Uhel for her report on the activities of the Mechanism.

We align ourselves the statement delivered by the European Union and would like to stress a few additional points:

Mr. President,

7 years of violence and atrocities in Syria call upon the entire International Community to multiply our efforts to put an end to this horrific conflict fed by the regime which has shown no respect for human life. We must support the relentless, valiant efforts of Staffan de Mistura, pursuing the objective of a political solution in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

To find a lasting political solution, we must all uphold our belief that large scale crimes against humanity and war crimes, including sexual violence and gender based crimes, do not go unpunished. The “triple I Mechanism” can make an important contribution to establish accountability, documenting atrocities, establishing facts, gathering evidence and preparing cases for trial. In this respect, we encourage national authorities to adopt the measures required to cooperate with the Mechanism.

As regards the financing, Italy is among those Member States who have contributed financially in 2017 and we will continue to do so in 2018, we also support the request made by the General Assembly to the Secretary-General last December to have the Mechanism financed under the UN regular budget.

Mr. President,

The Mechanism can also contribute to establish accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. A century after the end of the First World War we cannot resign ourselves to the idea that chemical weapons are once again used in the conflicts of our time. We cannot because they are banned, not only by our consciences but by the international law. We cannot because the humanitarian consequences of these weapons are unacceptable. We have seen them once again these days and we can no longer tolerate them. We must fight the unreasonable logic of terror that is prevailing in Syria.

During our Presidency of the Security Council, last November, Italy tirelessly tried to preserve the JIM. It proved impossible at the time. But we urge the Security Council to resume discussions on a tool that the whole international community needs to uphold the non-proliferation architecture. We need to re-establish an independent mechanism to attribute specifically the responsibility for this kind of crimes.

Mr. President,

In the past Italy has supported attempts to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. Today, we are ready to support existing mechanisms and engage constructively on promoting additional efforts to establish accountability, as we firmly believe that justice is an essential element for lasting peace in Syria.

Thank you, Mr. President.