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Assemblea Generale – Sessione Plenaria su Prevenzione dei Conflitti Armati

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Stefano Stefanile, Vice Rappresentante Permanente e Incaricato d’Affari a.i. dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, alla Sessione Plenaria dell’Assemblea Generale su Prevenzione dei Conflitti Armati – Terzo Rapporto del Meccanismo Internazionale, Imparziale e Indipendente per i Crimini commessi in Siria —

Madam President,

Italy joints the statement delivered by Croatia and Liechtenstein and would like to add a few additional remarks in its national capacity.

At the outset, we would like to thank Madame Marchi-Uhel for her third report on the activities of the Mechanism and for her insights on the important and hard work ahead.

8 years after its beginning, the Syrian conflict has brought a devastating load of human suffering, with its corollary of besiegement, starvation, indiscriminate bombing against civilians, displacements of populations, disappearances and killings of innocents, the atrocities of terrorism, and the repeated use of chemical weapons.

Notwithstanding the commitment to a political solution collectively reiterated at every level, a military solution is still being pursued at an intolerable cost of innocent lives, especially children and women. We are grateful to the former Special Envoy, Mr Staffan de Mistura, for his tireless efforts during his mandate and we strongly support the current Special Envoy, Mr Geir Pedersen, in his holistic approach to the implementation of resolution 2254 with a view to fostering a safe and neutral environment that can lead to a credible constitutional process, and free and fair elections under UN supervision. Full implementation of resolution 2254 remains the only way out of this crisis.

Accountability for the atrocities perpetrated during this terrible conflict is key to achieve a true reconciliation and a lasting peace. It is crucial that large-scale crimes against humanity and war crimes, especially sexual violence and gender based crimes and crimes against minorities, do not go unpunished. Therefore, we strongly support the “Triple I Mechanism”, as we remain of the view that it can provide an important contribution to establishing accountability, documenting atrocities, ascertaining facts, gathering and preserving evidence and preparing cases for trial. In this respect, we welcome the third report and encourage national authorities to continue to increase their efforts in cooperating with the Mechanism in order to bring to justice those responsible for these heinous crimes.

As regards its financing, Italy is among those Member States that have contributed significantly to the Mechanism since its inception. We welcome the ongoing transition to the UN regular budget, and we are ready to provide a voluntary contribution also for 2019 so as to help cover the afore-mentioned transition.

Madam President,

Italy reaffirms its full support for the existing mechanisms created by the General Assembly and by the Human Rights Council to ensure accountability for serious crimes committed in the context of the Syrian conflict. We firmly believe that justice is an essential condition for lasting peace in Syria and in the wider region.

I thank you, Madam President.