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May 2014
Editor-in-Chief: Nicola Giovannini
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 Highlights

UNSC/Syria: Russia and China’s vetoes block overwhelming consensus to ensure justice and accountability
 

After more than three years of violent and bloody repression and the deaths of more than 150,000 people, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was finally called today to vote on a resolution - submitted by France and sponsored by 62 UN Member States - calling to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Out of the fifteen UNSC Member States, thirteen members voted in favour; Russia together with China used their veto to oppose the resolution.
 
The support expressed for the resolution by all Security Council members with the exception of Russia and China, signals that a growing number of members of the international community are willing to take action aimed at ending impunity and preparing for the prosecution of those who bear the greatest responsibility for the appalling atrocities that have been committed against the civilian population in Syria. Since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, NPWJ and the NRPTT have consistently advocated that being firm on accountability is the best way to serve the cause of peace and security in Syria. A referral to the ICC would have signalled decisively that the international community is finally stepping in to help break the cycle of impunity that is ravaging Syria and in encouraging the fighters to abide by international conventions and the laws of war, particularly those that protect civilians.
 
We are gratified by France’s continued diplomatic efforts to put the resolution before the Council and welcome the United States’ backing of the text. Russia and China, by obstructing the resolution’s adoption, bear the shameful responsibility of impeding responsive and reliable action to address ongoing crimes and abuses and to ensure that their perpetrators will be held into account. They should think very carefully about whether continuing their protection of President Assad is really worth the blood that continues to stain their hands.
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ICC: Ruling on Gaddafi case will not support building justice in Libya
 

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) regret today’s decision by the ICC Appeals Chamber ruling that the Saif al-Islam Gaddafi case is to proceed in The Hague instead of Libya. This ruling, which reaches Libya in a very delicate moment for its transition to democracy, risks to further deepen the ongoing crisis and to give another blow to the trust of the Libyan people in the capacity of their State to administer justice on crimes under international law committed on its territory by its citizens. It also contradicts the aspirations of Libyans to see the alleged perpetrators be tried in Libya and to face justice in the same place where the crimes were committed.
 
Without underestimating the serious challenges that the Libyan judicial system faces and the serious security concerns of the current crisis, Libya remains positively eager to investigate and prosecute those who allegedly bear the greatest responsibility for the serious crimes committed during the revolution. The legitimate concerns related to the ability of the country’s judicial authorities to conduct fair and impartial trials would be more appropriately addressed by providing assistance to enable authorities to abide by these rules according to the highest international standards. It is also crucial to support local authorities and civil society, including monitoring mechanisms such as the Libyan Trial Monitoring Network, established in August 2013 with the support of NPWJ, which is monitoring very closely the proceedings of the Gaddafi trial in Tripoli.
 
The Gaddafi trial before the Libyan Court, case no. 177-2014, involves 37 people, including Abdullah Al-Senussi and other former top leaders of Muammar Gaddafi regime. Why Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is singled out by the ICC for transfer to The Hague is a question that Libyan observers raise repeatedly in Tripoli. These people deserve a clear answer from the ICC, which the Court can only provide by engaging the population through a serious and well developed outreach campaign in Libya.
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High Level Conference in Burkina Faso calls to foster Worldwide Ban on Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriages
 

On 24-26 April 2014, an international conference entitled “Strengthening the bridge between Africa and the world to accelerate Zero Tolerance towards FGM and child marriages”, was organised in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, by the Inter-African Committee for Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC), in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), and with the support of the Italian Government and other funders.
 
The high level event, which was held under the high patronage of H.E. Mrs Chantal Compaore, First Lady of Burkina Faso and under the Presidency of the Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity of Burkina Faso, brought together high-level government representatives, parliamentarians and civil society activists from Burkina Faso and other 35 countries, as well as representatives from UN agencies and other international organisations.
 
The Conference concluded with the adoption of a Final declaration calling on all countries of the world to engage politically to ensure the full and swift implementation of the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the Worldwide Ban on Female Genital Mutilation (A/RES/67/146), adopted on the 20 December 2012. Reaffirming that female genital mutilation and child marriage constitute wide-scale and blatant violations of the fundamental human rights of women and girls, the final declaration urges all states to take all necessary measures, including enacting and enforcing legislation to prohibit these forms of violence, to protect women and girls from them and to end impunity.
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 NPWJ events

Syria: SIOI and NPWJ hold second training on SPHERE humanitarian charter
 

War not only brings violence and death; it is usually also a huge humanitarian tragedy that disproportionately affects civilians, particularly women and children. The Syrian crisis is an emblematic and dramatic example of this reality. The suffering of the Syrian population remains enormous and the situation for the people of Syria, both inside and outside the country, continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate. Nearly half the population have been forced to flee their homes. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), around 9.3 million people in Syria are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including 6.5 million people who are internally displaced.
 
Building the capacity of Syrian civil society groups and human rights activists involved in humanitarian assistance was one of the main aims of the SPHERE training, held from 4 to 9 May 2014 in Gaziantep, Turkey. This 6-day course was the second training organised by the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI) and No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), in partnership with Kirkayak Art Center and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to acquaint participants with the Sphere Handbook, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response, the most widely known and internationally recognised set of common principles for quality and accountability in the humanitarian sector.
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Libya: NPWJ organises a meeting on the Transitional Justice Law and its mechanisms
 

On 29 April 2014, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) convened a meeting on the Libyan Transitional Justice Law and its mechanisms, within its program on Transitional Justice in Libya. The meeting, held in Tripoli, is the first of a series of meetings that will be organised in the coming months to raise awareness and promote participation and a constructive dialogue between Libyan NGOs and public institutions on the Transitional Justice Law.
 
More than 60 participants attended the event, including Libyan human rights activists, the Libyan Human Rights Council, representatives from the Tawergha community, a number of women’s organisations, lawyers, the Zawia Bar Association, local and international journalists and researchers, representatives of the international community, including UNSMIL (Rule of Law, Human Rights and Transitional Justice Division), the EU Security and Justice Support Programme and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.
 
During the meeting, the Civil Network for Transitional Justice (CNTJ), an observatory working group created in January 2014 with the support of NPWJ, provided a presentation of its work since the beginning of the year. Discussion also focused on the responsibilities of the Fact Finding and Reconciliation Commission envisioned by the Libyan TJ law, including collecting information on severe and systematic human rights violations, revising the legislation relating to Transitional Justice, studying the conditions of internally displaced people and developing strategies to provide concrete support to victims of human rights abuses.
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 NPWJ on Radio Radicale

Have Breakfast with No Peace Without Justice
 

 

No Peace Without Justice and Radio Radicale, the foremost Italian nationwide all-news radio, have an ongoing partnership to provide news and information on our activities to a broad Italian audience. This partnership features an in-depth weekly program on NPWJ’s current campaigns and activities. The program is broadcast in Italian every Friday morning immediately before the main news summary.

The last episodes have focused on the MENA Democracy Program, in light of the Libyan and Syrian crisis. With regards to Lybia, Gianluca Eramo talked about the deteriorating security situation, by also critically analysing the decision of the ICC to dismiss Libya’s appeal to prosecute Saif al-Islam Gaddafi under domestic jurisdiction. Giulia Cappellazzi instead gave an overview on women’s political role within the country’s transitional process, by also highlighting NPWJ’s activities on the ground. With regards to Syria, Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, NPWJ Secretary General, explained the diplomatic developments at the international level on the referral to the ICC. Other topics related to the FGM Program included the various events to which NPWJ participated, mainly the EIDHR Forum in Brussels and the conference on FGM and forced and child marriage in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Listen to the episodes

 NPWJ press releases

UNSC/Syria: Russia and China’s vetoes block overwhelming consensus to ensure justice and accountability
Brussels - Rome - New York, 22 May 2014

ICC: Ruling on Gaddafi case will not support building justice in Libya
Brussels-Rome-New York, 21 May 2014

Syria: over 100 human rights groups, including HRW, NPWJ and FIDH, call for ICC referral
Brussels - Rome - New York, 15 May 2014

Syria: SIOI and NPWJ conclude second training on SPHERE humanitarian charter
Gaziantep, Turkey, 9 May 2014

Libya: NPWJ organises a meeting on the Transitional Justice Law and its mechanisms
Tripoli, 30 April 2014

Syria: TDA and NPWJ organise training on Designing a Transitional Justice Poll
Gaziantep, Turkey, 28 April 2014

High Level Conference in Burkina Faso to foster Worldwide Ban on Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriages
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 26 April 2014

Ukraine: NPWJ and NRPTT welcome formal acceptance of ICC jurisdiction and call for its extension to the situation in Crimea
Brussels, Rome – 17 April 2014

Justice for Syria: NPWJ and NRPTT welcome French initiative on ICC Referral
Brussels-Rome, 16 April 2014

 NPWJ in the news


 

Civil society backs Syria ICC referral bid
#GlobalJusticeWeekly (CICC), 16 May 2014

Retour sur le colloque : protéger et punir avec la loi
Excision, parlons-en!, 13 May 2014

Lutte contre les MGF et les mariages des enfants: Chantal Compaoré réaffirme son engagement aux côtés du CI-AF
Fasozine, 27 April 2014

MGF et mariages précoces: Des stratégies afin de parvenir à la tolérance zéro
Le Quotidien (Burkina Faso), 27 April 2014

Conférence internationale sur les MGF et le mariage des enfants: Chantal Compaoré au front
Burkina 24, 25 April 2014

UNPO Conference on Minority Rights in Ukraine: Political Crisis Gives New Meaning to Minority Protection and Concept of Self-Determination
UNPO, 10 April 2014

Justice in Syria Could Help Break the Cycle of Revenge: Interview with Jeffrey Howell
By Margaret Williams, Global Observatory, 2 April 2014

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