Denmark and UNITAD Sign Agreement to Enhance Investigative and Forensic Capacity in Iraq

The United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement a project aimed at strengthening the capacity of Iraqi courts, judicial system and forensic capacity, with whom UNITAD works in the implementation of its mandate pursuant to Security Council resolution 2379 (2017).

The Danish contribution of approx. USD 800,000 (5 million DKK) will fund a training and mentoring programme (2020-2021) that UNITAD will deliver for investigative judges in key courts across the country, and forensic experts, as part of their ongoing cooperation with the Investigative Team.

The training programme will be informed by a comprehensive assessment of training needs, so that the developed training modalities are tailored to address specific challenges faced in Iraq.

Incoming UNITAD National Professional Officers, who work on an equal footing with international staff, will also benefit from the investigative and analytical training under this project, enabling them to get quickly up to speed with the work of the Investigative Team, and acquire new skills that can be employed in their daily activities.

In connection with the Danish support, the Danish Foreign Minister, Jeppe Kofod, stated:

“Important that we maintain focus on the long-term goals – not least in the present situation. It is my hope that the Danish support provided through UNITAD will strengthen transitional justice in Iraq, and thereby contribute to heal the wounds inflicted by ISIL on the Iraqi society. The Danish support for capacity building of the Iraqi judicial system will contribute to the ambitions voiced by both the Iraqi government and the people of Iraq for a society based on the rule of law”.

Special Adviser Karim A. A. Khan QC thanked Denmark for its support and stressed:

“That enhancing Iraqi capacities is part of UNITAD’s mandate and directly feeds into the Investigative Team’s work to ensuring accountability for ISIL individuals responsible for the most serious crimes and delivering justice to victims. Through holding fair trials, in which incontrovertible evidence is presented to national courts, can we expose the baseless ideology of ISIL, establish justice for victims from all Iraqi communities and prevent revisionism.”

Ultimately, by enhancing investigative and forensic capacities in Iraq, this project ensures the collection of evidence on the ground meets the highest international standards, and contributes towards strengthening rule of law in key areas impacted by the crimes committed by ISIL.

The Danish contribution to the UNITAD Trust Fund is provided through the Peace and Stabilization Fund as part of the Syria–Iraq Peace and Stabilization Program (2019-2021).

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

Five years on from ISIL ‘caliphate’ proclamation in Iraq, Security Council makes first-ever visit

The UN Security Council has concluded a first-ever visit to Iraq on Saturday, five years on from the proclamation, by the ISIL terrorist group, of a “caliphate” in the country.

The visit, which also took in a trip to Kuwait, saw the members meet senior government, UN and humanitarian officials to discuss the development of Iraq, the humanitarian situation, and the ongoing security challenges faced by the Government.

Council members noted that the visit underscored their support for Iraq’s continued post-conflict recovery, and reconciliation efforts to meet the needs of all Iraqis, and emphasized the importance of the sovereignty and security of Iraq.

They also addressed the importance of funding the recovery, in meetings with World Bank representative Ghassan Khoja, which covered the effective follow-up of international pledges, including those made at the 2018 Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq.

Effective government and corruption issues raised

Recent political developments in Iraq, including progress towards the full formation of the Government, were welcomed by the Security Council members, who recognized the importance of an administration that upholds the values of the country’s constitution, responding to the needs of all Iraqis, including women, youth, children, displaced persons, and persons belonging to all ethnic and religious groups.

The engagement of the national Government in resolving outstanding issues with the Kurdish Regional Government, was also singled out for praise by the members, and the issue of corruption was raised, particularly efforts towards implementing the 2018-2022 National Government program, which includes addressing corruption, and strengthening viable state institutions.

Humanitarian and security concerns

The humanitarian situation, including the delivery of basic services, remains challenging in Iraq, and the members underscored the importance of all persons internally displaced by conflict, including in areas liberated from ISIL. The need for economic reform, investment, and regional economic integration to better address the aspirations and concerns of the Iraqi people, was also noted.

Support for the UN Assistance Mission for IRAQ (UNAMI) mandate to support and assist the Government of Iraq to promote inclusive political dialogue; national, regional and community-level reconciliation and cooperation; and security and justice reform, was reaffirmed by the Security Council representatives. They also commended the Government of Iraq’s efforts, in association with local and regional authorities, to counter terrorism and encouraged them to further their coordination.

A UN investigative team set up to hold ISIL accountable for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, must remain independent and impartial, ensure its Iraqi members benefit from international expertise on the team, and make every effort to share knowledge and technical assistance with Iraq, the members insisted.

They added that the team, UNITAD – the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL – must operate with full respect for the sovereignty of Iraq and its jurisdiction over crimes committed in its territory.

(Sources: UN, Iraq Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)