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Islamic State: Genocide

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 36262, tabled on 3 May 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the Government's policy is on voting in favour of referring as genocide the acts committed by Daesh in Iraq and Syria to the International Criminal Court in the event of another member of the UN Security Council proposing such a referral.

Answered on

9 May 2016

It is not possible for the UN Security Council to refer Daesh itself to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Any referral would cover all potential crimes within a specified geographic area, rather than by a specified organisation or set of actors.

We would consider carefully any suggestion from another member of the Security Council to refer the situation in Iraq and Syria to the ICC.

However, we judge that a referral to the International Criminal Court by the UN Security Council is not practical at this time.

When efforts were made to refer the situation in Syria to the ICC in 2014, it was vetoed by Russia and China. We expect that any Security Council resolution at this time seeking to refer the situations in Iraq or Syria to the ICC would likewise be blocked.

We continue to discuss with partners on the UN Security Council further ways to ensure that the perpetrators of crimes committed in Syria and Iraq are held to account and face justice.

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