Human Rights Council

Agenda Item 4: General Debate:

- Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

14 March 2018

Thank you Mr. President,

Despite over 20 years of the existence and innovation in international criminal justice, the international community has hitherto failed to stop, investigate or prosecute international crimes committed in Iraq since the illegal invasion and occupation 15-years ago. Horrendous large-scale systematic violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by government and government-affiliated forces, ISIS and other non-state armed groups, and international forces, would be qualified as international crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court or an ad-hoc international tribunal.

We are gravely concerned over the failure of efforts to promote criminal accountability. To build trust and stability in Iraq, the grievances of all affected groups affected by human rights violations and atrocity crimes must be addressed. EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice call for the situation of Iraq to be referred to the International Criminal Court or an ad-hoc international tribunal, given the extent of committed crimes, the absence of a credible national judiciary, and obvious unwillingness of the state to prosecute perpetrators.

We urge the United Nations to take into account the evidence that has been brought to their attention over the years and to ensure accountability for acts committed by all actors to the conflict in Iraq. The most pressing priority must be to adopt necessary measures to ensure the protection and fundamental human rights of all civilians. The fulfilment of victims’ demands for justice and accountability are vital to any viable solution to achieve peace for the Iraqi people. Transitional justice is thus imperative for the years ahead.

Thank you.

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