United Nations, July 3 (IANS) The president of the UN Security Council said on Thursday Malaysia intends to introduce a draft resolution, touching off an anticipated “months” of debate, on the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, which killed all 298 people on board.
Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen, the permanent representative of New Zealand, this month’s president of the panel of 15, told reporters of Kuala Lumpur’s plans, Xinhua reported.
“Malaysia briefed the council members this (Thursday) morning of their intention to present a resolution in relation to MH17,” he said. “This was presented on behalf of the members of the Joint Inspection Team (JIT) in which Malaysia, Australia, Netherlands, Belgium and Ukraine are seeking to find a mechanism to deal with criminal accountability in relation to the downing of the aircraft.
“I expect that issue to be the subject of quite intensive consultations in the course of the coming months,” the Wellington envoy said.
The final JIT report was expected to be released in October.
Controversy swirls around the downing of MH17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014.
Earlier news reports indicated investigators found the aircraft, a Boeing 777 twin-jet, was knocked out of the sky over eastern Ukraine by fragments from a high-energy explosion, possibly delivered by a missile warhead.
Ukraine and its Western allies said the blast was caused by a Russian surface-to-air missile launched either by Russian troops or Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Russia denies the allegations, indicating the flight could have been downed by a warplane or a Ukrainian missile.
On a question about the prospects of a draft resolution, Van Bohemen said, “Today was literally the first day its come up so I am not going to make any assessment”.
When asked if there was any hostility to Malaysia’s intention, the council president said only, “There was a number of questions asked but because Malaysia said they were coming with a text we all agreed that we needed to see the text before we can make a further assessment.”