I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and my own country Norway.
I regret that many of the messages we have made for the past several years bear repeating. The thousands who have vanished, who have lost their loved ones, who have been tortured, starved and gassed or who have had to leave their homes deserve justice.
We remain deeply concerned by the continued flagrant disregard of international law and systematic violation of human rights and international humanitarian law in Syria, overwhelmingly perpertrated by the Syrian regime.
Without accountability and transitional justice, a lasting peace remains out of reach. Those responsible for international crimes must be brought to justice.
The Nordic countries have been strong supporters of the accountability agenda and the establishment of IIIM right from the start.
We remain convinced that a referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court is the best option to achieve accountability for the most serious crimes that have taken place. We continue to regret the impasse in the Security Council on this issue.
We thank the IIIM for its latest report and for its dedicated work. The Mechanism serves as the focal point for a holistic approach to accountability in Syria, from evidence collection by civil society organisations to the building of cases for prosecution by international entities. Atrocities are committed on all sides and continue to be an everyday occurrence in Syria.
The Nordic countries commend the full integration of gender perspectives and expertise on sexual and gender-based crimes as well as crimes against children into the IIIM’s work.
In addition, we welcome the objective to advance the Sustainable Development Goal 16 by promoting equal access to justice for all.
We also commend the commitment to develop a victim-centered approach and to support broader transitional justice objectives.
The IIIM represents an important contribution towards securing justice for the Syrian people.
The Nordic countries welcome UN Secretary General’s announcement to include the necessary funding for the IIIM in the regular budget proposal for 2020. This mechanism is too important to rely purely on voluntary contributions.
We remain fully committed to the work and mandate of the IIIM.