Qatar reaffirmed that the only way to ensure the cessation of all violations in Syria is to resolve the crisis, stressing at the same time that accountability for the most serious crimes that violate international law is an important element in order to ensure the sustainability of peace.
This came in a statement made by HE the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations ambassador Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani at the United Nations General Assembly meeting on the report of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in Syria since March 2011.
HE Sheikha Alya highlighted the special importance of this annual meeting, as last month marked the passage of a decade since the launch of peaceful protests by the Syrian people to demand their legitimate rights, which its excessive suppression led to a crisis that lasted for years, serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and human suffering beyond description.
She added that accountability for the most serious crimes that constitute a violation of international law is an important element in order to ensure the sustainability of peace, referring to the efforts that resulted in the establishment of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism, which Qatar was at the forefront with Liechtenstein, stressing the commitment of Qatar to its legal and moral responsibility towards ensuring justice and accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity and address impunity.
HE Sheikha Alya said the atrocities committed in Syria are the most documented, including the use of banned chemical weapons against civilians in a blatant violation of international law, pointing to the documented reports about them that are still continuing continuously, the latest of which is the second report of the investigation and identification team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on the Saraqib incident, which was issued last week.
She referred to the close relationship between justice and peace, and the need to consider allegations, collect evidence and make it available to facilitate future accountability efforts, welcoming the progress made in the report of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism in its performance in accordance with its founding principles of impartiality and independence.
In this context, HE Sheikha Alya praised the achievements of the mechanism in refining working methods, increasing the capacity of the central repository of information and evidence, and expanding the scope of interaction with the Syrian civil society. Despite the challenges imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, the mechanism has succeeded in following up its activities, continuing to collect and analyse data, conduct interviews and investigate remotely," she said, stressing the need for the international mechanism to continue to receive adequate and predictable funding from the United Nations regular budget, which would contribute to enhancing its credibility and independence.
In conclusion, ambassador Sheikha Alya reiterated that the only way to ensure the cessation of all violations in Syria is to resolve the crisis, adding that Qatar will continue to seek, in co-operation with international partners, to support possible means to contribute constructively to resolving the crisis through a meaningful political process that leads to a political transition in accordance with the Geneva Declaration and the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2254, fulfills the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, and maintains unity, sovereignty and independence of Syria.
She also reaffirmed the position of Qatar condemning violence against civilians and flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, by whomsoever committed, and that it will continue to support the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to fulfill its important mandate.