General Debate Under Item: 4 - Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
Thank you Mr. President,
This is a joint statement by International Lawyers and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ).
March 20 will be the anniversary of one of the darkest events of our modern history. On that date, in 2003, a coalition led by the United States initiated an unlawful war against Iraq, which resulted in a destructive occupation. We want to ask to everyone in this room, when will these issues become part of the Council’s agenda?
The US-led invasion has created a political, social and economic turmoil in Iraq. The entity of the destruction and the illegality of the occupation have become apparent. Yet, justice, reparation and accountability have not been granted.
Accountability is crucial for two reasons: Iraqi victims should receive compensation and reparation for the crimes and violations endured, and the international community should show that no State can act above the law without bearing responsibility for its acts. Iraqi civilians should receive official apologies, and the invading powers should provide financial and structural compensations: hospitals, education buildings and public structures should be rebuilt, and adequate funding should be allocated for the depuration of the environment where depleted uranium and toxic agents have been inconsiderately used.
Finally, the international community should acknowledge that the political and institutional vacuum created by the U.S. actions in Iraq has facilitated the emergence of the brutal Iraqi militias. The reparation process should include the condemnation of such actions and the effective investigations of the violations perpetrated.