|Remarks by Counselor Sun Zhiqiang at the UN Security Council Briefing on UNITAD|
China thanks Special Adviser Ritscher for his briefing.
Evidence collection is important basis for pursuing accountability for ISIL’s terrorist acts. China supports UNITAD in assisting the Iraqi Government with evidence gathering. We welcome the overall progress made in the team's work, especially the notable progress in the investigation of the use of chemical and biological weapons and terrorist financing, which would provide enabling conditions for pursuing accountability for terrorist acts.
Iraq bears the primary responsibility for justice in its territory. The international community should respect in earnest Iraq’s sovereignty and jurisdiction over its territory, and support the country in pursuing accountability for the crimes of terrorists in accordance with its domestic law. We encourage UNITAD to continue to strengthen its cooperation with the Iraqi Government, especially in the early and complete transfer of evidence to Iraq in line with the provisions of the Council resolutions. To share evidence with other member states, the team needs to obtain the consent of the Iraqi Government and adheres to the principle of transparency and non-discrimination.
UNITAD should continue to maintain good cooperative relations with the Iraqi Government, and assist it with capacity building, evidence collection, and digitization, among others. The team donated the DNA laboratory information system to the Iraqi Government, and assisted it with digitization. These are commendable efforts. The application of new technologies for greater effectiveness in counter-terrorism is a useful practice, and can be an important point of reference for the use of technologies in other fields.
It should be emphasized that UNITAD is an interim and transitional arrangement of the UN to support Iraq’s accountability efforts, and should not become a permanent body. Last year’s report of the team set forth some preliminary ideas about a completion strategy. We hope that UNITAD will further flesh it out, and implement the strategy.
Terrorism is the common enemy of mankind, and counter-terrorism transcends borders. The international community must continue to support Iraq in its efforts to fight terrorism and consolidate hard-won counter-terrorism gains. We call upon relevant countries to expedite repatriation of foreign terrorist fighters in Iraq. At the same time, it is imperative to strengthen cooperation within the UN framework and oppose terrorism in whatever forms. We must combat all terrorist organizations designated by the Security Council, and avoid politicizing counter-terrorism or adopting double standards.
Thank you, Mr. President.