The EU Steps Up Its Support for Investigations Into War Crimes and Accountability in Syria
The European Union announced it will provide €1.5 million to support the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in Syria.
Justice for the victims is key for an effective and inclusive reconciliation process in Syria. This is why those responsible for war crimes need to be held accountable and as soon as possible", said the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini. "As the European Union, we confirm today our commitment and our support to the Syrian people and to the UN-led political process towards a political resolution of the crisis. The Syrians deserve peace and justice, and we continue to be at their side in this endeavour.”
The European Union considers that without justice, war crimes go unpunished, victims are unable to obtain redress and peace remains an elusive goal. Accountability for war crimes, human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law is essential to ensuring a meaningful political transition in Syria. The European Union will continue to work to ensure that these violations are addressed, in line with the strategic objectives of the EU Strategy for Syria, adopted on 3 April 2017.
Support from the international community to the Mechanism, including through adequate financial means, is needed to ensure that it would be able to start work as soon as possible and fulfil its mandate, in line with the principles of universality and at the highest level of professionalism.
On 21 December 2016, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted Resolution 71/248 establishing an "International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011" (IIIM or "the Mechanism"). This Resolution constitutes a building block to ensure accountability for the crimes committed by all parties in the context of the conflict in Syria.
The €1.5 million provision to support the Mechanism was adopted as a measure under the Instrument contributing to Stabilty and Peace.