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Statement by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the Situation in Iraq

  Committee on the Elimination  
  of Racial Discrimination

25 August 2014

CERD Calls on Human Rights Council to Convene a Special Session on the Human Rights Situation in Iraq 
GENEVA (25 August 2014) - The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), currently meeting in Geneva, has issued a statement requesting that the Human Rights Council convene a special session on the human rights situation in Iraq, and urging the United Nations Secretary-General to submit to the Security Council the suggestion that a United Nations peace force be set up as temporary emergency measure to create a safe zone in the plain of Nineveh.
The Committee considered the combined fifteenth to twenty-first periodic report of Iraq on its implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on 19 and 20 August and a summary of the proceedings can be seen here.
CERD adopted its decision under its early warning and urgent action procedures. The full  text, copied below, was published today here:   http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CERD/Pages/EarlyWarningProcedure.aspx
Decision 1 (85)

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, meeting in Geneva at its eighty-fifth session from 11 to 29 August 2014,
Acting under its Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedures and taking into account its Declaration on Genocide (2005),

Alarmed by information and testimonies from various sources and having also considered the 15th to 21st periodic report of Iraq, a State party to the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD),

Appalled by the massacres, atrocities and other human rights abuses against civilian populations, inter alia on ethnic and ethno-religious grounds, committed by the terrorist armed group calling itself the “Islamic State (IS),”

Deeply concerned by the mass killings, the ethnic cleansing, the massive forced displacement of populations, the violence against women and children and the other crimes against humanity, which constitute blatant violations of the ICERD and increase the risk of genocide,

Mindful of the need to encourage the ongoing humanitarian responses required  from the international community to preserve life and dignity of the populations affected,

Fully aware of the serious long-term consequences of the conflict in Iraq for peace and security in the Middle East and in the World:

1.  Requests the Human Rights Council to convene a special session on the human rights situation in Iraq, with the view to consider establishing a commission of inquiry to examine the causes of the conflict, the origins and actions of the “IS,” the forces and problems involved, and to present its findings and recommendations, including with regard to those responsible for crimes against humanity and the ways to prosecute and punish them,
2.  Urges the Secretary-General of the United Nations to submit to the Security Council the suggestion to set up a UN peace force as a temporary emergency measure, in order to create a safe zone in the plain of Niniveh, enabling the free return of the displaced persons and the protection of the communities traditionally living in the area.

To interview a Committee member, please contact Gabriella Habtom (+41 (0) 2 917 79193/ ghabtom@ohchr.org
For more information and media requests, please contact Liz Throssell (+41 (0) 22 917 9466/ ethrossell@ohchr.org

For use of the information media; not an official record