Explanation of Vote by Sweden at the UN Security Council Adoption on ‘Daesh Accountability’


Explanation of Vote by Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Adoption of Resolution on ‘Daesh Accountability’, 21 September 2017, New York.

Thank you Mr President, Excellencies,

So, the nightmare of Daesh rule is finally coming to an end for the millions of Iraqis who have been affected. The victory over Daesh is the result of the commitment and resilience of the Iraqi government and people, and I pay tribute to them and to the Iraqi security forces for their determination. Yet, in some ways, the victory over Daesh is, as we have heard already, only the beginning of a long road ahead. The hard work of healing the wounds of the survivors, as well as the wounds left on Iraqi society must now begin.

Sweden welcomes the adoption of today's resolution, which is an important first step towards holding those responsible for the atrocities carried out by Daesh to account. We welcome the global advocacy role of the Special Advisor, established by this resolution, and that other member states can request assistance from the team with the approval of the Security Council.

This resolution is also an example of how the Security Council can take action in support of accountability. This is encouraging, as, to date, advancing international justice in the Council has sometimes been difficult, not least in Syria. Accountability is critical to delivering on the Council's aims of reconciliation and sustaining peace.

Mr President,

Let me make three short points relating to the resolution we have just adopted and its implementation:

Firstly, Daesh has shown an extraordinary cruelty towards men, women and children. And just to remind the Council today that women and children have been used as human shields, executed in public, abducted, enslaved, raped, sold like livestock and exploited as suicide bombers. We have heard heartbreaking stories from Yazidis among many others, testifying to such barbaric acts and my respect to courageous survivor Nadia Murad, who is actually present here today.

Today's action by the Council marks a victory for the women who have survived Daesh and who bravely spoke out to demand justice. I really pay tribute to their courage. We must now ensure that the investigative team is equipped with the expertise and resources necessary to gather evidence for crimes against women and children, including sexual and gender-based violence.

Secondly, Sweden was amongst the first countries to prosecute suspected perpetrators of alleged war crimes in Iraq as well as in Syria.

And finally, we urge the Iraqi authorities to put in place national legislation that ensures all perpetrators of international crimes are tried in Iraq. All suspected war crimes must be afforded due process, and investigated in an impartial and fair way. This is essential for the maintenance of the rule of law and crucial for the reconciliation process. Sweden, as you know unequivocally opposed to the death penalty, expects that the investigative team will not contribute to trials that may lead to capital punishment, in line with UN standards. We welcome the work of the UN to support the Iraqi authorities' efforts to reform their justice sector, strengthen the rule of law and the respect for human rights.

So Mr President,

After the military defeat of Daesh and the end of its brutal rule, the Iraqi government and people must turn their attention to reconciliation and building an Iraqi state that represents all Iraqis. This will take political courage and cooperation. They can rely on Sweden as a committed partner in this next critical phase. Thank you.


Lisa Laskaridis
Head of Press and Communication, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN
Phone +1 212 583 2543
Mobile +1 917 239 0941
email to Lisa Laskaridis