Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam hopes that the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (UNITAD) will complete its investigation activities in Iraq soon, stated Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN. 

Addressing an UN Security Council (UNSC) discussion on December 2 on the UNITAD operations in the past six months, Ambassador Quy lauded the performance of the UNITAD in investigation and evidence collection activities so far despite difficulties from COVID-19.

He hailed the team’s effective application of advanced technologies in its operations and efforts to encourage the engagement of the local governments and residents.

He reiterated Vietnam’s support of efforts against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons by anyone, in anywhere and under any circumstances.

The Vietnamese representative proposed that the UNITAD strengthen cooperation with the Iraqi Government, the regional and local administrations and leaders of religions, while applying measures to protect witnesses, and continuing to assist the building of legal corridor to create the legal basis for the prosecution of ISIL members in Iraq. 

Vietnam called on the international community to increase support to the UNITAD in performing its tasks in line with international law, related resolutions of the UNSC and principles of the UN Charter, including respect to sovereignty rights, territorial integrity, independence and unity of Iraq, Quy said.

Christian Ritscher, Special Adviser and Head of the UNITAD said that significant steps have been taken in the pursuit of justice and securing accountability for victims, including by gathering and analysing evidence of crimes perpetrated by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), and tying those crimes to specific members.

UNSC members recognised the efforts and strong performance of the UNITAD, pledging continued support for the team in implementing its tasks.

The 130-member UNITAD was formed following the UNSC Resolution 2379 on September 21, 2017, and became operational in Mid-August, 2018. It is tasked with collecting, protecting and storing evidence to support Iraq to prosecute and punish the ISIL/Da’esh for its crimes in Iraq./.