UN chief "regrets" prosecutor Carla Del Ponte's decision to leave Syria inquiry panel

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-08 03:50:12|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted "with regret" on Monday investigator Carla Del Ponte's announced intention to resign from the Syria Commission of Inquiry, but added that he supports the panel's continued effort in seeking accountability for crimes against civilians in Syria's seven-year civil war.

Stephane Dujarric, chief UN spokesman, said, "The Secretary-General notes with regret Carla del Ponte's decision to resign from the Commission. He is grateful for her service and her contribution to the important work of the Commission as a tireless advocate for the cause of accountability."

"As the international community continues to search for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, the Secretary-General reiterates the importance of accountability for crimes against civilians during the conflict," Dujarric said. "In that regard, he supports the continued work of the commission as an important and integral part of the accountability process."

"I am frustrated, I give up," Del Ponte told the Swiss newspaper Blick on Sunday, adding, "I have written my letter of resignation and will send it in the next few days."

Del Ponte, 70, who had been on the commission almost five years and who had investigated mass slayings in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, said the Syria commission was doing "nothing" and did not have support from the UN Security Council.

In response to reporter's questions at UN Headquarters on Del Ponte's criticism, Dujarric said, "The process of accountability is a critical one; it is an important one; It is one that takes time. Information needs to be gathered in a way that will stand up in wherever and whatever circumstances people will have to face justice."

"It is something we have to understand is deeply frustrating to the victims, first and foremost," he said.

"It is no secret to anyone that the deadlock in the Security Council, I think, has been a source of frustration not only for the secretary-general but for others inside the UN," Dujarric said. "But there is no getting around the Security Council and I think we have called for a greater unity of purpose from Security Council members on Syria."

The council has failed for years to reach consensus on the Syrian war.