The countries undertaking the independent criminal investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have asked the UN Security Council to establish an international criminal tribunal to try those responsible for crimes connected to the downing that occurred over Ukraine on 17 July 2014 and took 298 lives.

Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine consider an independent international criminal tribunal established by the Council, reflecting the highest international standards, would be the best means of ensuring justice for the victims and their loved ones. It would also be an appropriate response to the fact that the incident and the related implications for the safety of civil aviation affect the interests of the international community as a whole. The five countries are working to secure the support of Security Council Members for the tribunal. 

In the immediate aftermath of the MH17 disaster, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2166, which demanded that those responsible for the incident be held to account and that all States cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability. 

The establishment of an international criminal tribunal under Chapter VII of the UN Charter for this purpose would send a clear message that the international community will not tolerate acts that threaten international peace and security by endangering civil aviation.  A tribunal established by the Council would ensure broad international support for prosecutions and would maximise the prospects of securing international cooperation, which will be necessary for an effective prosecution.

Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine call upon members of the Security Council to support this proposal to ensure that those responsible are held to account and to deter those who would threaten civil aviation.

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