Earlier this year, we marked the anniversary of the tragic deaths of 298 innocent victims on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Our sympathy and thoughts remain with the victims, their families and friends.
The day following the horrific shooting down of MH17 over separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine, OSCE participating States collectively called for an open and transparent investigation in a declaration by the Permanent Council. We therefore welcome the Dutch Safety Board’s final report on the MH17 disaster in accordance with Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.
The Board’s work included contributions from a wide array of experts from many countries, including an international crash investigation team composed of experts from the Netherlands, Malaysia, Ukraine, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Russian Federation.
The Dutch Safety Board concluded that a Buk surface-to-air missile fired from eastern Ukraine was the cause of the crash of MH17. The Dutch Safety Board’s assessment matches our own. Other potential causes, such as an explosion inside the airplane or an air-to-air missile, were investigated and excluded. The Dutch Safety Board urged greater exchange of information about conflict areas and potential threats to civil aviation to avoid similar tragedies.
The United States appreciates the thoroughness with which the independent investigation into the downing of MH17 was conducted. We also support the continued efforts of the Joint Investigation Team, as it works to ensure justice for the families of the victims and to establish accountability for those who are responsible for this terrible loss of life.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
As delivered by Deputy Chief of Mission Kate Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna