We sincerely thank the Head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria, Ms. Catherine Marchi-Uhel for her latest report as well as for her work and her dedication to justice and accountability for the most serious crimes committed in Syria. We are most grateful to Ms. Marchi-Uhel and her team for their continued engagement.
We welcome the steady increase of the workload of the mechanism as it is indicating the success and the effectivity of the mechanism.
The IIIM has a tangible impact. One example: On 23 February 2023, the Higher Regional Court of Berlin sentenced an individual to life in prison inter alia for a particularly serious war crime and four counts of murder committed in Syria in 2014. It was established that the perpetrator had launched a grenade into a crowd of civilians waiting for food in Damascus.
This conviction was based on evidence provided by IIIM and made
possible thanks to the outstanding cooperation between the mechanism and the German Federal Prosecutor General. We are thankful for this trusted and valuable cooperation and committed to continuing and extending it with regard to more pending cases.
Germany attributes utmost importance to effective accountability for heinous crimes of the kind of the one that I just mentioned and deter any more such atrocities – in Syria and beyond. We are convinced that effective accountability is a precondition for sustainable peace. In relation to the magnitude of most serious crimes committed in Syria, the number of prosecuted cases remains low. More needs to be done and we need to step up our efforts and continue supporting the important work of IIIM.
We furthermore welcome the mechanism’s strategic plan for 2023-2025. We would like to particularly stress the importance of inclusive justice and express our support for the most important victim centered approach as part of the strategic plan. It is important that the voices of the victims are heard and that they are treated with dignity and respect.
Germany urges all member states to fully co-operate with the mechanism and support it wherever they can.