Nov 05 2018
Past event

High-Level Conference on the HRC Investigative Mechanisms and Preventing Mass Atrocities

On Monday 5th November, the Permanent Missions of Australia, Germany, Ghana and Uruguay with the support of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and the Universal Rights Group organised a High-Level Conference on: ‘Human Rights Council Investigative Mechanisms and Preventing Mass Atrocities’

This year the United Nations celebrates the seventieth anniversary of two of its most significant political achievements – the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These anniversaries come at a time when the structure of human rights, humanitarianism and multilateral diplomacy increasingly appears to be under threat.

Since 2006 the Human Rights Council has developed innovative investigative mechanisms to respond to many of the gravest conflicts occurring today – including Syria, Myanmar, and South Sudan – and to promote accountability for violations of international law. Yet the situations in these countries continue to deteriorate, and justice for victims of atrocities remains negligible.

This conference provided an opportunity for States, non-governmental and civil-society organisations and practitioners to reflect upon the influence of investigative human rights mechanisms concerning mass atrocity prevention and accountability, discuss best practices, and explore how to improve their efficiency.


Panel Session 1 (10:00–12:00): Panelists will analyse the successes and failures of past international and independent investigative mechanisms, and elaborate on the specific factors that facilitated or hindered impactful outcomes from their work.

Panel Session 2 (13:00–15:00): Panelists will discuss how the HRC and wider UN system can engage with and develop these mechanisms further in order to better address atrocity situations.

Panelists include:

  • Dr. Andrew Clapham, Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and member of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan
  • Mr. John Fisher, Geneva Director, Human Rights Watch
  • Dr. Paola Gaeta, Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
  • Ms Georgette Gagnon, Chief Field Operations and Technical Cooperation, OHCHR
  • Mr. M
  • Mr. Ted Piccone,  Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution (video message)
  • Ms. Catherine Marchi-Uhel, Head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) on Syria
  • Mr. Sam Zarifi, Secretary General, International Commission of Jurists


For further information, please contact: Ms. Elisabeth Pramendorfer, Global Centre for R2P
( / 0041 76 753 58 83).

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