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 Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD) and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ).
In 5 days time, the people of Iraq will commemorate 14 years since the illegal invasion and occupation of their country by the United States and its allies. Yet while those responsible are free to earn millions of dollars as after dinner speakers, this Council should not forget the 1.5 million innocent Iraqi’s who died as a result. Nor should we forget the devastation and instability it has caused to Iraq.
There aren’t many things which are more corrosive to democracy than impunity. Yet, so far, the international community has failed to hold those responsible to account, and 14 years later, it must still be asked, where is the justice for Iraq?
This war was waged on a false pretext, on one of the founding members of the UN. It left behind a devastated country, and a shattered society. It caused not only deaths, but total destruction, whereby schools, hospitals and homes were leveled. It also created a power vacuum that has fuelled and spread terrorism across the region, with ISIS now ensuring there is no end to the suffering of the Iraqi people.
But in 2017, an official apology has never been delivered, an adequate compensation has never been paid, and responsibility has never been taken. The Iraqi people deserve truth, they deserve justice, and they deserve reparations - and for the sake of an entire nation, it is high time the Council takes action.