Denmark providing long-term funding for 'key areas' of UNITAD work on ISIS justice
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Denmark has committed 16 million Danish Koner (approximately $2.3 million) in long-term funding to UNITAD, the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability Against Da'esh/ISIL (ISIS), to aid its "pursuit of justice for ISIL's international crimes in Iraq."
"The funding agreement will support key areas of UNITAD's work until the end of 2025," read a UNITAD press release published on Sunday. "This includes support to capacity building with the Government of Iraq on technical and digital investigations and furthering UNITAD's investigations into sexual and gender-based crimes and crimes against children.
The new contribution "builds upon previous Danish support to UNITAD, which began in 2019, and has provided backing to important aspects of UNITAD's mandate."
The press release noted that the partnership between UNITAD and Denmark "has already seen notable achievements through the delivery of a training course on internal criminal law and international humanitarian law for Iraqi judges."
The partnership also led to the establishment of Zeteo, "UNITAD's groundbreaking artificial intelligence platform."
"Building capacity in the Iraqi justice system to hold ISIL accountability for sexual violence, gender violence and violence against children is vital to building a stable and peaceful Iraq," the statement quoted Ambassador of Denmark to Iraq, Mr. Stig Paolo, as saying.
Christian Ritscher, the Special Adviser and Head of UNITAD, also praised the partnership, calling Denmark a "vital supporter" of UNITAD's work, adding that the latest long-term funding "is yet another example of the strong partnership that exists."
"With Denmark's generosity, we will continue to strengthen our efforts with the Government of Iraq to hold ISIL to account," Ritscher said.
"The new project will continue to follow a comprehensive approach to ISIL accountability that strengthens the ability of the Iraqi authorities to conduct digital investigations in line with international best practices and enhances the use of advanced technology to strengthen UNITAD's investigations," the press release concluded. "Particular attention will be given to applying these technologies to ISIL's crimes that involved sexual enslavement and the recruitment of child soldiers."
In April, Ritscher indicated that there had been a significant increase in the number of ISIS mass graves in Iraq.
The statement came on the sidelines of a conference on ISIS held by the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin to discuss the issue of "financial flows of extremists."
During the conference, Ritscher said that "these graves are important evidence from which to conclude the number of people killed by ISIS" and stressed that "the international investigation team is in a race against time because the graves are subject to natural influences."