Syria: NPWJ calls on the UN Member States to support the Mechanism for investigation and prosecution of serious crimes

13 Feb, 2017 | Press Releases

Brussels – Rome, 13 February 2017
On the occasion of the release of the Terms of Reference for the Mechanism to support the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes in Syria, established by the UN General Assembly on 21 December 2016, NPWJ addressed an open letter to the UN Member States calling for their political and financial support to this new Mechanism.

The establishment of this an international, independent and impartial 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.

In its open letter, NPWJ urge all UN Member States to support the Mechanism by (1) providing financial support, even in small amounts, preferably before the next report of the Secretary-General at the end of February 2017; (2) providing political support, such as by expressing support for the Mechanism in all relevant fora, including at the March session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva; and (3) engaging with the Mechanism and demanding transparency and accountability in its own work.


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