NEW YORK, September 29, 2011—The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) enthusiastically welcomes today’s decision of the United Nations Human Rights Council to establish a mandate for a special rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence of serious crimes and gross violations of human rights.
“This is a highly important resolution and a significant contribution by the Council to establish accountability for serious crimes and human rights violations,” said ICTJ president David Tolbert.
The special rapporteur will be an important new instrument to enhance the visibility of transitional justice issues at the Human Rights Council. The mandate will include advising on possible assistance and reporting on country situations, normative frameworks, and national practices related to transitional justice mechanisms addressing gross violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law.
In addition, the special rapporteur will make recommendations on strategies for addressing serious crimes and human rights breaches. The resolution calls for a victim-centered approach and a gender perspective to be integrated throughout the work of the mandate.
“We are especially encouraged by the strong support for the resolution, which was co-sponsored by 75 countries across different regions and continents and adopted by consensus,” added Tolbert. “The continuing support will be crucial in the future when the mandate gains concrete definition and the special rapporteur begins engaging in specific contexts.”
The primary challenge ahead will be to identify a strong candidate for the position, which will carry significant challenges given the vast and rapidly developing field of transitional justice.
“The selection process should be transparent and include consultations with civil society. ICTJ looks forward to supporting the process in every way and working closely with the future special rapporteur,” concluded Tolbert.
About ICTJ The International Center for Transitional Justice works to redress and prevent the most severe violations of human rights by confronting legacies of mass abuse. ICTJ seeks holistic solutions to promote accountability and create just and peaceful societies. For more information, visit www.ictj.org.
Refik Hodzic (New York)
Director of Communications
International Center for Transitional Justice
Phone +1 917 975 2305