As the UN Security Council’s non-permanent member beginning next year, Belgium will actively pursue the perpetrators and seek justice for the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 which was shot down on July 17, 2014.
Belgian ambassador to Malaysia Daniel Dargent said being elected for the 2019-2020 term, together with Indonesia, Germany, South Africa and Dominican Republic, would widen Belgium’s chances of ensuring all states involved gave full cooperation in the European country’s quest to establish truth, justice and accountability for the victims and their next of kin.
“When we are in the council system, we will push the MH17 case to the agenda of the UN Security Council.
“We will propose a solution, which means, identifying the main culprit responsible, not only the one on the ground but also the one who give the order to launch the missile,” he told Bernama in an exclusive interview at the embassy recently.
Elaborating, Dargent pointed out the UNSC Resolution 2166, which specifically reaffirmed a common resolve to seek justice and accountability by ensuring the perpetrators are held accountable, must be respected by all parties without exception.
"We are supporting the resolution as demanded; thus, we hope all states will continuously cooperate in the ongoing investigation,” he said, noting the criminal investigation remained an absolute priority of the Belgian government.
Dargent said Belgium, as part of the Dutch-led five-nation joint investigation team (JIT) for MH17, would certainly give its strong support to the Netherlands in making those behind the downing of the aircraft accountable for the criminal act.
“We support the Netherlands, especially because we are very close and we know we are (both) victims (of the ill-fated flight) and therefore, it is very important for us to track down those responsible for the catastrophe.”
At the JIT press conference on May 24, this year, the result of the investigations into the downing of Flight MH17 revealed the team was convinced that a Buk-Telar missile was used to down MH17 which originated from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian Army in Kursk in the Russian Federation.
Russia’s Defence Ministry has, however, rejected all the allegations.
A total of 298 passengers and crew perished in the MH17 tragedy.
They comprised 193 Dutch nationals, 43 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 10 Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos, and one each from Canada and New Zealand.
"We look forward to that (UN Security Council position) because we also have some victims in this catastrophe and we are also part of the investigation team.
“So, all that we can do, we will do it for sure,” Dargent insisted.