Agenda Item 3: General Debate
- Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
Thank you Mr. President,
This is a joint statement by International-Lawyers.Org and Geneva International Centre for Justice. 2018 marks the fifthteenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by a US-led coalition. Unfortunately, the current situation in Iraq does in no way reflect the hopes of freedom the invasion was fueled by. Currently, Iraq is war-torn and 8.7 million people find themselves in need of humanitarian assistance. These fifth teen years have left a trail of death, destruction and lawlessness: 3 million people lost their lives in this period.
In this chaotic situation of lawlessness, sectarian violence is able to thrive and the Islamic State could commit horrendous atrocities. The bombing by the US-led coalition of IS strongholds, has further destroyed Iraqi infrastructure, in defiance of the Geneva Conventions. The justice system is ruled by corruption and brutality with arbitrary arrests, systemic torture and skyrocketing execution rates.
15 years later, the United States and its allies must bear legal responsibility for all committed crimes and violations. An official apology, reparations of the losses, accountability for the perpetrators of crimes and justice for victims remain absent. The human rights of the Iraqi people should take center stage and the formation of an international criminal court should provide all victims with justice. There will be neither justice nor sustainable peace as long as the past injustices are not addressed, as long as impunity continues to strive and accountability and compensation are denied.