Promoting Da’esh Accountability Worldwide
As ISIL continues to seek common cause globally and attempts to expand its corrupt ideology across borders, there must be no gaps in the response of the international community in its global accountability efforts.
Pursuant to his mandate under Security Council resolution 2379 (2017), the Special Adviser engages with national governments, impacted communities and survivors of ISIL crimes globally in order to strengthen the global response to ensuring accountability for acts that may amount to atrocity crimes committed by Da’esh/ISIL, and to ensure that the interests of survivors are placed at the center of such efforts.
Amplifying the Voices of Survivors and Impacted Communities
Emphasis has been placed on harnessing the collective voices of survivors to combat the global narrative of ISIL and thereby undermine the legitimacy of the ideology underpinning its criminal activities. In that regard, the Special Adviser met with communities across Iraq and in other fora worldwide in order to underline the common bond between all victims of ISIL and emphasize the power survivors can demonstrate in coming forward with their accounts.
As part of a program of victim-engagement in 2020, the Special Adviser will conduct a number of awareness-raising activities and consultations with Member States, international organizations and victims’ groups. Specifically, the Special Adviser intends to host a series of meetings or conferences with national authorities of Member States to identify common challenges and potential areas for cooperation with respect to the prosecution of members of ISIL. These forums will be used to identify common challenges in the prosecution of such cases and explore how UNITAD’s investigative activities can be conducted in a way that maximizes the potential use of its evidentiary material in domestic proceedings. They will focus on engagement with national authorities in efforts to hold ISIL accountable for atrocity crimes.
In addition, a set of interactive sessions will be held with concerned non-governmental organizations and victims’ groups as part of the Special Adviser’s efforts to ensure that their voices are heard as part of the accountability process.
Leveraging Global Platforms
The Special Adviser has sought to leverage global forums as a means of strengthening the collective resolve of the international community to ensure that Da’esh/ISIL is held accountable wherever it seeks to promote or implement its terrorist activities.
This has included participation in and the delivery of keynote addresses at conferences and events including the international counter-ISIL coalition ministerial meeting of the coalition held in Washington, D.C., on 6 February 2019 and the 2019 Doha Forum.
Engagements with Member States
Efforts have been made by the Special Adviser to engage proactively with national Governments of States in which ISIL and affiliated groups have sought to expand operational capacity and activities.
In this respect, from 30 April to 2 May 2019, the Special Adviser paid an official visit to the Niger, establishing modalities for cooperation in the implementation of the mandate of the Investigative Team and meeting with the President and the Prime Minister, as well as other senior members of the Government, to discuss the role of formal accountability processes as a key pillar in the fight against ISIL, including affiliated groups operating in the Niger.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Niger and UNITAD underpinning future cooperation with respect to the investigation and prosecution of ISIL crimes and the provision of support to its victims.