Today, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands launched a 12-page report containing 20 recommendations on the future of accountability mechanisms in the global fight against impunity for serious human rights violations and abuses, at a livestreamed webinar.
The recommendations include:
- Greater dialogue, coordination, and cooperation should be encouraged and implemented between all stakeholders of accountability mechanisms;
- States should support the development of and, where appropriate, the adoption of, innovative means of advancing the accountability mechanism framework to ensure it progresses in a logical and principled basis that best serves justice and the interests of victims;
- Accountability mechanisms should actively seek out an appropriately representative range of victims, survivor groups and human rights defenders, and formulate tailored strategies for engaging with them; and
- Accountability mechanisms should have clear and accessible protocols for ensuring the safety and security of victims, witnesses and others who assist the mechanism.
The event commenced with opening remarks by Ambassador Paul Bekkers, the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva, and by Saman Zia-Zarifi, the ICJ’s Secretary General.
Kingsley Abbott, Director of Global Accountability & International Justice at the ICJ, then presented the report’s key findings.
The report records the outcomes of conferences the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the ICJ held online in November 2020 and January 2021 with the objectives of:
- facilitating a consultation among a broad range of stakeholders on key questions concerning the role of accountability mechanisms in the global fight against impunity for serious human rights violations and abuses; and
- producing guidance to assist relevant stakeholders to effectively use the accountability mechanism framework to contribute towards accountability for serious human rights violations and abuses and redress for victims world-wide.
On 5 and 6 November 2020, the first conference, titled “The role of UN body-created accountability mechanisms in the global fight against impunity”, was held under the Chatham House Rule. Monique T.G. van Daalen, the then Ambassador/Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN in Geneva, and Saman Zia-Zarifi delivered opening remarks. Participants then interacted with a panel comprising: Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Fatou Bensouda, the then Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC); Catherine Marchi-Uhel, Head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria (IIIM); and Nicholas Koumjian, Head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM). The event was attended by over 100 participants, including State representatives, heads and staff of international accountability mechanisms, civil society and victims’ groups, UN agencies, domestic legal practitioners and social media representatives.
On 20 January 2021, the ICJ and the Kingdom of the Netherlands held a further, public, conference titled “‘The role of UN created accountability mechanisms in the global fight against impunity: what’s next?”, which was livestreamed and attended by over 220 persons.
Stef Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, opened the event before Ilze Brands-Kehris, UN Assistant Secretary General on Human Rights, on behalf of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the then Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, gave keynote addresses. Saman Zia-Zarifi then led a discussion with panellists Radya Almutawakel, President of the Mwatana Organization for Human Rights; Cecile Aptel, Chief, Rule of Law and Democracy section, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; Andrew Clapham, Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva; and Dr Ambia Perveen, Vice Chairperson of the European Rohingya Council.
Kingsley Abbott, Director, Global Accountability & International Justice, e: kingsley.abbott(a)icj.orgPublicationsReportsThematic reports