The State of Qatar has underlined that failure to take appropriate measures to achieve criminal justice in Syria despite clear evidence of human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity, documented by many UN reports, sent a signal that there was immunity and impunity for those responsible for these violations and crimes, which encouraged further violations and crimes against the Syrian people.
This came in a statement delivered by Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office and other international organisations in Geneva, HE Ambassador Ali Khalfan al-Mansouri, at a side event organised by the Permanent Delegation of Qatar with the Permanent Delegation of Lichtenstein, entitled "Challenges and achievements of the independent international mechanism to assist in the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes committed in Syria under the classification of international law committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011."
The event was held on the sidelines of the current session of the Human Rights Council.
Al-Mansouri stressed that the work of the international mechanism represents the first step that will pave the way for achieving accountability, justice for the victims of the Syrian people after more than seven years of the most heinous crimes and the worst violations.
Achieving accountability is also a prerequisite for reaching a political solution in accordance with the Geneva Declaration 1 and relevant Security Council resolutions for the achievement of a lasting and comprehensive peace in Syria.
He said that the two reports submitted by the Mechanism to the General Assembly reflect the efforts exerted and the progress made towards activating the mechanism and accelerating the pace of its technical work to achieve the objectives for which it was established.
In this regard, HE al-Mansouri welcomed the co-ordination between the international mechanism and the International Independent Investigation Commission on Syria, as well as its co-operation with states, other relevant actors and Syrian civil society organisations with a view to organising the exchange of information and evidence.
The ambassador thanked all states and donors that had provided financial support to the international mechanism and urged them to contribute to providing all the necessary support to enable this important mechanism to meet the challenges it faced and to continue to carry out its mandated tasks in the best possible manner.
Al-Mansouri reiterated Qatar's firm position on supporting the legitimate demands of the Syrian people as well as supporting the international mechanism in order to facilitate and accelerate the advancement of fair and independent criminal proceedings in accordance with the norms of international law.
He praised the efforts made by head of the International Mechanism, Marchi-Uhel, and the staff in facilitating the process of accountability in Syria in order to meet the requirements of its criminal justice.
For her part, Catherine Marchi-Uhel, Head of the International Impartial Independent Mechanism Investigating Serious Crimes in Syria, presented a summary of the Mechanism's second report to the UN General Assembly on progress in policy and practical aspects of the Mechanism, particularly with respect to the collection of information, as well as the preparation of case files and the steps taken to address the challenges they face, in particular with regard to the provision of funding for the continuation of its work and efforts.
A number of permanent delegates participating in the side event, including the ambassadors of Monaco, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Switzerland, the European Union, Finland and Canada, thanked the State of Qatar and Liechtenstein for organising such an important side event and their continued support for this international mechanism to ensure the success of its work.
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