The chairperson of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM), established by the United Nations to promote justice in Syria, presented a report on the Commission’s progress in the past year during a briefing to the UN General Assembly.
Catherine Marchi-Uhel, IIIM’s chairperson, provided details on the IIIM’s collaboration with judicial authorities in investigating and prosecuting individuals responsible for the most severe crimes committed in Syria under international law since March 2011.
Last year, the IIIM’s report showed that its 83 frameworks for cooperation with member states and other entities served 15 different jurisdictions and supported 138 national investigations that were outstanding. The Mechanism’s cooperation with the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Germany has resulted in several cases, including the conviction of a man on February 23 for war crimes and murder, as well as an ongoing trial in which the defendants face charges of sexual violence, torture, and murder. The judiciary is currently investigating an indictment in another ongoing case.
Marchi-Uhel emphasized that “the Mechanism aims to support broader justice initiatives, including efforts to clarify the fate of missing persons, by identifying intersections with its accountability-focused work and implementing the Gender Strategy of October 2022. ” She also provided details of the Mechanism’s increasing collaboration with civil society actors, who serve as critical sources of information and evidence.
She added that the International Impartial Mechanism will continue to explore opportunities for cooperation in the justice ecosystem for Syria, citing the growing demand by competent judicial authorities for the Mechanism’s services.
Marchi-Uhel welcomed the United Nations General Assembly’s 2020 decision to include the Mechanism in the Secretariat’s regular budget, but also highlighted the need for voluntary contributions from Member States to support its work.
The UN official stressed that cooperation is essential for demonstrating the value and success of the neutral international mechanism.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.