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General Assembly - Plenary Meeting on "Prevention of armed conflict"

Date:

04/21/2021


General Assembly - Plenary Meeting on

Statement delivered by Ambassador Stefano Stefanile, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the General Assembly plenary meeting on the Prevention of armed conflict. ---

 

Thank you Mr. President.

Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the Head of Delegation of the European Union.

We thank you Mr. President for your introductory remarks and we appreciate the presentation by Ms. Marchi-Uhel for the seventh report on the work of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism.

As already pointed out in recent meetings of the General Assembly and other related events, 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.

Within this context, 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.

The pattern observed in Syria over the last ten years is particularly shocking, with indiscriminate violence targeting often the most vulnerable such as women, girls, children and minorities. Impunity must end. Justice for the victims of these crimes must be pursued as an essential condition for a sustainable peace in Syria.

It is in that spirit that Italy has been strongly supporting the IIIM 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. A specific reference to the Mechanism and to the importance of its work is contained in the Joint Statement issued on 15 March last by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Italy is particularly appreciative of the progress achieved by the Mechanism during the reporting period - despite the constraints related to the COVID-19 pandemic - and welcomes the increasing cooperation between the Mechanisms and national authorities in investigating and prosecuting the gravest crimes committed in Syria. National prosecutions should be complemented by the referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court - a call that Italy has consistently supported.

Finally, we deem it important that the Mechanism can count on a regular UN financial endowment in order to effectively plan and execute its work. Therefore, Italy will continue, to support, within the pertinent UN bodies, a consistent and adequate provision of funds in favour of the Mechanism.

I thank you Mr. President.


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