Denmark and UNITAD Sign Agreement to Enhance Investigative & 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).