Consultation on the early history and future of UN Commissions of Inquiry
February saw the launch of a new project, conducted with the support of the Government of Australia, on lessons learned from the early history of a new Council mechanism: Commissions of Inquiry. Have they fulfilled their purpose, how do they fit into the UN human rights ‘toolbox,’ how has methodology evolved, and what next for COIs?
URG, Brookings Institution and Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG (Chair of the COI on DPRK) convened, from 23rd to 24th February, a one-and-a-half day consultation meeting in Geneva. The meeting brought together eminent commissioners from COIs and FFMs, human rights defenders (especially those with experience of engaging with COIs), NGOs, State representatives and OHCHR experts. The meeting looked, inter alia, at the purpose, politics, effectiveness and methodology of COIs, especially from a victim’s perspective. It also provided a forum for reflection on: why COIs developed, what their mandate was expected to be, whether the contemporary reality of COIs matches that early vision, and how to strengthen COIs in the future as part of the UN’s wider international human rights protection mechanism ‘toolkit.’
A short report on the meeting will be published in due course.
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