Explanation of vote by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on UNITAD.

Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the Security Council

We recall that the horrific atrocities committed by Daesh shocked the world. This Council was clear in its response: Daesh members had to be held to account, and justice delivered for the survivors and victims of their crimes.

This is why Iraq and the UK were at the helm of establishing UNITAD through Resolution 2379 in 2017.

Since it was established, UNITAD has supported the excavation of mass graves and facilitated the return of remains to the families of victims. It has worked closely with Iraqi judges and prosecutors to build their capacity, in particular on evidence collection. It has provided survivors, including of sexual and gender-based violence, with opportunities to provide testimony safely with their rights fully respected, testimonies that have been used in the prosecution of Daesh members around the world. And it has enabled psychosocial treatment in partnership with Iraq’s Ministry of Health, providing real impact for survivors.

This year, as with every year, we approached this mandate in close partnership with the Government of Iraq, and with the shared commitment of Security Council members to counter terrorism.

The resolution we have adopted this morning puts us on a course to improve evidence sharing arrangements with the Government of Iraq, and to consider options for UNITAD’s future.

The UK will work closely with the Government of Iraq, the United Nations, and the Security Council to continue UNITAD’s legacy, both in Iraq and around the world. We are grateful to the Special Adviser and his Team for their dedicated work in pursuit of accountability. And we stand firm in our continued international efforts to deliver justice for Daesh’s atrocities.

Thank you.

Published 15 September 2023