UNITAD-NGO Dialogue Forum Convenes its Third Biannual Plenary Roundtable
Baghdad, 15 February 2022 – The United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) held its Third Biannual Plenary Roundtable meeting of the UNITAD-NGO Dialogue Forum.
In his opening remarks, Special Adviser and Head of UNITAD Christian Ritscher provided an overall update on the work of UNITAD, since he assumed his responsibilities in October 2021, and highlighted key priorities for the Investigative Team.
Civil society representative from various Iraqi NGOs had the opportunity to present on their work. This includes members from the Coalition for Just Reparations – an alliance of over 30 Iraqi NGOs – Ms. Shokhan Hama Rashid Ahmed from Women’s Legal Assistance Organization (WOLA), in addition to one more woman survivor from the Coalition’s Survivors Council delivered remarks outlining the work of the Coalition, and the implementation of the Yazidi Survivors’ Law (YSL).
The Special Adviser commended efforts taken by the Parliament of Iraq, survivor communities and NGOs, in adopting the YSL. He noted that this law “is a step in the right direction towards the recognition of the nature of the crimes committed by ISIL, and the recognition of victims’ rights”. He also welcomed efforts taken by survivors, particularly from the Yazidi community, in calling for the expansion of this law to look at children and men, as well as victims from other affected ethno-religious communities.
Mr. Ritscher also expressed his commitment to work with the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist in the revealing of ISIL’s atrocity crimes in international forums as stipulated in Article VII of the YSL. This will include a series of joint events co-hosted with Iraqi embassies to shed light on ISIL international crimes, and also to promote accountability for those crimes.
The UNITAD-NGO Forum brings together over 50 Iraqi and international NGOs, to discuss issues of relevance to UNITAD’s mandate and the pursuit of the collective objective of holding ISIL members accountable through evidence-based trials before competent courts. Further, the Forum provides a platform and spotlight for survivors from different ethno-religious communities and civil society actors to discuss areas for enhanced cooperation with UNITAD.
UNITAD remains committed to the work it is conducting with NGOs as they provide critical gateways to victims and affected communities. The Investigative Team will continue this close collaboration and coordination as it continues to move forward in its efforts to hold ISIL perpetrators accountable for their international crimes.
For More Information, please contact Mr. Georges Fakhry, Chief Public Information Officer for the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL by E-mail: email@example.com