In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Your Excellency Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Principality of Liechtenstein,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I welcome you all, and in particular, Judge Catherine Marchi-Uhel , President of the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism to assist in the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under international law committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011.
Our participation in convening this meeting culminates the efforts we have made in recent years in pursuit of a noble goal. This goal combines the promotion of the principles of justice and righteousness, the humanitarian and moral duty, and the shared responsibility in dealing with crimes against humanity. I would like to underline that the State of Qatar, in partnership with the Principality of Liechtenstein and other friendly states, has been pushing for the establishment of an international mechanism.
The State of Qatar's continuous efforts, since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, have been to put an end to the unprecedented violence and suffering inflicted on the Syrian people. Qatar's efforts have supported reaching a political solution based on the Geneva Declaration and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254, in order to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people for security, stability, maintain Syria's unity and sparing the country and region any additional serious consequences.
These efforts have been reflected in the continuous humanitarian support provided by the State of Qatar to the Syrian people in the different field, including support for the preservation of the upcoming generation and ensuring access to education.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Crimes of mass atrocities, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other more serious crimes that fall under classifications of international law are not subject to a statute of limitations. Therefore, punishing perpetrators of such crimes in Syria is urgent, as a humanitarian necessity before being a legal necessity. The violations are still ongoing, either by the Syrian regime or terrorist organizations. This is confirmed by the reports of the United Nations and international organizations, including the report of the International Independent Investigation Commission of Inquiry on Syria, which confirmed that the Syrian regime's forces used chemical weapons against civilians in the town of Khan Shaykhun last April.
It is now clear - more than seven years since the beginning of this crisis – that the Syrian national judicial system is unable or unwilling to pursue any party that has committed any of the brutal crimes in Syria. In addition , the international community's failure to refer the issue of these crimes, war crimes, and crimes against humanity to the International Criminal Court.
In this regard, we hope that the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism will positively contribute to achieving justice for the Syrian people. This requires activating this mechanism and moving towards independent and fair criminal proceedings. We appreciate the progress made by the mechanism on its structural construction, the removal of obstacles to the exercise of its jurisdiction, tackling the Syrian regime's criticism of it, and refuting any allegation or concerns about its legality. We welcome the mechanism's preparations for its first report to facilitate accountability.
We also commend the IIIM's coordination with the Independent International Commission of the Inquiry on Syria, and its cooperation with Syrian civil society organizations in order to organize the exchange of information and evidence. The State of Qatar has proposed that a special meeting of the U.N. General Assembly be held in order to present the IIIM report, and that meeting is currently being arranged.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The progress of the IIIM so far is only the beginning of the road to a new stage to achieve its desired objectives. This requires support in order to enable the mechanism to properly carry out its responsibilities.
The State of Qatar has started to provide financial support, which has amounted to $1 million dollars to the IIIM. We thank all the countries that provided financial support to the international mechanism and urge all countries and concerned parties to contribute to financing the mechanism and covering the deficit in its financing for the current year.
In conclusion, I hope that this meeting will result in tangible success in the work of the IIIM so as to serve as a deterrent against the reoccurrence of such crimes.
Peace be upon you, and the Mercy of Allah and His Blessings,