NPWJ advocates for political and financial support to the UN General Assembly’s Syria Accountability Mechanism

Geneva, Palais des Nations, 2 March 2017

On Thursday 2 March 2017, the permanent representations of Liechtenstein and Qatar to the UN in Geneva convened a side-event on “Next steps: Making the General Assembly’s Syria Accountability Mechanism operational”.
The meeting, which was hosted by H.E. Mr. Peter Matt, Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the UN in Geneva and H.E. Mr. Ali Khalfan Al-Mansouri, Permanent Representative of Qatar to the UN in Geneva, included as panellists H.E. Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.E. Mr. Christian Wenaweser, Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the UN in New York, Ms. Cecile Aptel, Senior Legal Policy Advisor, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Ms. Alison Smith, International Criminal Justice Director, No Peace Without Justice.
The purpose of the meeting was to foster political and financial support to ensure the operational implementation of the “International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011”, which was established by the resolution A/RES/71/248 adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 21 December 2016.
After repeated vetoes in the Security Council on resolutions dealing with Syria, the establishment of this Mechanism represents the most concrete step towards accountability that the international community has taken since the start of the conflict almost six years ago. With its mandate to support investigations, gather information from a wide variety of sources, including the Commission of Inquiry, and prepare case files, it has the chance to lay a solid foundation for future prosecutions. To realise this potential, the Mechanism will need to implement its mandate with these twin goals as their guiding principles; to adopt procedures and protocols that adhere to the highest possible international standards; to learn from the experiences of international courts and tribunals, particularly on outreach, and adapt them to their own situation; and have the support from the international community that it will need to fulfil its mandate.


For further information, please contact Gianluca Eramo (MENA Democracy program Coordinator) on or Nicola Giovannini (Press & Public Affairs Coordinator) on or +32-2-548-3915.