The Security Council decided today, Thursday, to extend the mandate of the United Nations investigation team to enhance accountability for crimes committed by ISIS (UNITAD) in Iraq.
The Council stated in a statement received by the Iraqi News Agency (INA): "In resolution 2651, it renewed the mandate of the investigation team (UNITAD) until September 17, 2023, which is the team that was established primarily by resolution 2379 (2017) at the request of the Government of Iraq.".
The Special Adviser and Head of the Investigation Team (UNITAD), Christian Richer, welcomed, according to the statement, "the renewal of the team's mandate, as it represents the evidence of the international community's commitment to the mission of the investigation team (UNITAD), adding that the team will continue its work, in cooperation with the Government of Iraq and Member States, to serve Our common goal is to achieve justice for victims and survivors of international crimes committed by ISIS.".
"Iraq, as well as all members of the Security Council, has once again demonstrated their unwavering support for the team and its investigations, as a leading entity in the pursuit of accountability for the heinous acts of ISIS, which may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and in some cases the crime of genocide," Richer said.
The Council stated, according to the statement, that "Special Adviser Richer will continue to report on developments and progress on the investigations conducted by the team to the Security Council every 180 days," noting that "Reicher had highlighted in the eighth report issued in June 2022 on the progress which was achieved in several investigations, and on the strong partnership between the investigation team (UNITAD) and the Iraqi government.”.
The Special Adviser indicated, according to the statement, that "the priority areas that the investigation team is working on include expanding the scope of its investigations to include a number of key files, including investigations into crimes committed in Mosul as the capital of the so-called "caliphate" in Iraq, as well as the destruction of ISIS, cultural heritage and its use of chemical weapons.
He noted that "the investigation team (UNITAD) will remain intent on building partnerships with the Iraqi authorities and victims' communities, as well as other concerned countries, to ensure that information and evidence, collected and preserved in line with international standards, is admissible before the courts."