Qatar has renewed its support for the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism to hold accountable those accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, stressing that sustainable peace in Syria can only be achieved through justice by ensuring accountability.
This came in a statement made by HE the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations, Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani, at the UN 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 the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011."
Sheikha Alya said that Qatar's keenness in the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism stems from its moral and legal responsibility to bring justice to the victims, as well as its keenness to enhance chances of achieving sustainable peace in Syria, which can only be achieved through justice by ensuring accountability.
She pointed out that this position is in line with Qatar's firm policy to promote human rights at the international and regional levels in co-operation with the United Nations and international partners, noting the importance of the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism's role in the absence of sufficient prosecution for serious crimes committed in Syria at the national level.
She also stressed the importance of international efforts to activate the mechanism in light of the clear manifestations of impunity and attempts to conceal the facts about the use of chemical weapons and other crimes.
Sheikha Alya referred to the Mechanism's third report, noting the significant progress it made in fulfilling its mandate as it acts as the central repository of information and evidence of crimes committed in Syria.
In this context, she hailed the distinguished efforts being made to consolidate, preserve and organise information and to combine the scattered parts of evidence together, pointing out that the mechanism has collected over 1mn records, and that this will play an important role in establishing individual criminal responsibility.
Sheikha Alya commended the leadership of the mechanism for following the highest professional standards and for seeking to take advantage of modern and innovative methods and technology to maximise the impact and effectiveness of the mechanism.
She also encouraged the leadership of the mechanism to continue to apply a comprehensive approach to achieve justice as a model for an effective and accountable institution, expressing hope that the mechanism will be fully activated as soon as possible.
Sheikha Alya stressed that predictable funding for the mechanism, starting in 2020, through the regular budget of the United Nations would ensure its credibility and independence.
She referred in the statement to Qatar continued support for the mechanism, noting that in 2019, Qatar provided $1mn to support the mechanism.
She said that supporting the mechanism should be continued, including political support and cooperation in providing information and evidence of violations to the mechanism, underlying the importance of effective coordination in the exchange of ideas, experiences, information and evidence between the Mechanism, international organisations and United Nations entities such as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, as well as civil society organisations.
Sheikha Alya expressed Qatar's confidence that the mechanism would carry out its tasks entrusted to it by the General Assembly and would achieve the desired results to serve the interests of the Syrian people and the principles of international justice.