Speech by minister Soini at UN General Assembly side event Ensuring Justice for Syria
Speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini at the UN General Assembly side event Ensuring Justice for Syria - The need for accountability to achieve sustainable peace in Syria and the role of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) in the process. The side event took place 27 September 2018.
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Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
Our discussion today deserves its time and place. We have again witnessed horrific scenes from Syria. Constant brutal violations of human rights and international humanitarian law happen with impunity.
Finland is a true advocate for the rules-based international system. It is clear for us that impunity for the crimes committed in Syria is not an option.
Peace cannot be achieved without justice, and justice requires both redress for victims and accountability of perpetrators. It is justice that we owe to the Syrian people and this gives us all a reason to advance international efforts in order to guarantee accountability for international crimes.
The value of the IIIM [triple IM] cannot be undermined. Even if it is not a tribunal nor has any authority to prosecute crimes, the Mechanism is doing important work bridging the gap between recent crimes and uncertain future prosecutions. The Mechanism can provide assistance to states in their efforts in prosecuting on a national level those responsible for international crimes in Syria.
The latest Syria Commission of Inquiry report on sexual and gender-based violence tells us a devastating story about the reality and the violence committed by all parties to the conflict. The mandate of the IIIM clearly notes the special attention needed for sexual and gender based crimes as well as crimes against children. This focus is needed. We are convinced that the IIIM team has the expertise and the determination to address these areas effectively and diligently, as is highlighted in the report.
Finland was one of the first countries to financially support the Mechanism to ensure its operability. The IIIM requires our full support and attention also in the future and my country’s commitment will not be fading. Regarding long-term resourcing for the IIIM, Finland underlines the importance of funding from the UN budget to ensure focused and effective functioning of the Mechanism.
Let me end by commending Ms Marchi-Uhel and her team, who have done an outstanding job in launching the operative work of the Mechanism with full dedication and professionalism. I wish you all continued success.