Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
Thank you, Mr. President.
The UAE welcomes the unanimous adoption of today’s resolution on the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh (UNITAD). The resolution reflects the sovereign requests contained in the letter of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq, His Excellency Fuad Hussein, of 5 September.
We also thank the Investigative Team for all their efforts made since UNITAD’s establishment to support accountability for the Da’esh terrorists, whether by collecting evidence of crimes by Da’esh members, or supporting Iraqi capacity building in this field. The UAE believes that the establishment of UNITAD in close partnership with Iraq provided a model for UN efforts to support states in their judicial procedures.
The UAE actively engaged in the Council negotiations to build bridges and ensure a resolution text that addressed Iraq’s concerns and considered the views of Council members, especially by presenting proposals acceptable by all.
We thank the United Kingdom for its pivotal efforts as penholder, which allowed the adoption of a balanced resolution and within the required time frame. We also value the contributions of all other Council members in this regard.
As the Investigative Team now moves gradually towards closing the mission, we stress the importance of keeping the Security Council informed of the progress made in implementing the provisions of this resolution, including through the regular briefing of the Special Adviser in December, especially regarding planning for the closure of the mission and its tasks in coordination with the Iraqi government.
We also hope that the Secretary-General’s report, which will be issued early next year, will provide realistic and applicable proposals on mechanisms for the UNITAD Team to hand over all the evidence it has collected and developed to the Iraqi government, including evidence that UNITAD has shared with third countries; the Iraqi government should be the main recipient of this evidence pursuant to Resolution 2379.
We appreciate Iraq’s efforts to hold Da’esh members accountable and achieve justice for the victims, survivors, and their families. We also support the Team’s sharing of evidence with third countries, with the approval of the Iraqi government, to achieve accountability for Da’esh members wherever they are located around the world.
Speaking of this Group, the UAE affirms its rejection of attempts to link terrorist groups, such as Da’esh, to the Islamic religion or other religions, nationalities, or races. We warn of the misleading narratives of these groups that distort religions and seek to exploit them to achieve their destructive goals.
I conclude by reiterating our support for Iraq’s sovereignty, security, stability, and territorial integrity. We express our solidarity with the Iraqi people in their journey toward recovery from the challenges they have experienced over the past decades.
Thank you, Mr. President.