*The conference from April 14-15 brings together more than 250 representatives
The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) and the European Parliament, will hold an international conference on "National, Regional and International Mechanisms to Combat Impunity and Ensure Accountability under International Law" on April 14-15 in Doha.
The conference, the largest of its kind in the region, brings together more than 250 representatives of States, governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as the presidents and experts of the international commissions of inquiry, the relevant special rapporteurs, the chairpersons of the United Nations treaty committees, experts and judges of specialised international tribunals, the International Criminal Court , as well as experts and lawyers who have filed cases before national courts that operate under universal jurisdiction.
Several specialised international agencies, regional human rights mechanisms, chairpersons of the European Parliament, national human rights institutions, research centres and many relevant bodies and organisations will also be invited to participate.
HE Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri said in a press statement at United Nations Headquarters in Geneva that the conference comes within the framework of the NHRC partnership with both the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Parliament to examine the development of mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights, especially in light of the ongoing violations and the rights of victims and access to justice.
He said the participation of the European Parliament and the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the conference represents a real support for the establishment of effective mechanisms and the conclusion of important recommendations and their implementation on the ground. He expressed the NHRC's pride in this tripartite cooperation, noting that last year it signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Parliament, and organising of the conference will be part of the memorandum and its terms.
"This conference is considering the importance of putting an end to gross violations of human rights", he said .
He noted that the Doha conference would be a purely legal event, not related to specific international issues and not to a specific country, but would discuss the general framework to support and promote the principle of non-impunity through the development of accountability mechanisms.
He stressed that without achieving the principle of investigation and prosecution, and redress of the victims, many officials would remain unaccountable for such violations and persist in violation of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. "Therefore, we must come up with recommendations that provide the victims with the right access to the courts, whether national or international and redress their harm, and hold accountable those responsible for violations, HE Dr al-Marri said.
The NHRC chief said one of the most important topics of the conference is the duty to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators, the victims' right to a remedy, the right to know, the right to access to justice, compensation and guarantees of non-repetition.
He said the conference would also discuss international, regional and national mechanisms to combat impunity in cases of gross violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law, noting that the meeting would review the relevant principles of international law, in particular the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to Equity and reparation for victims of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
The two-day conference will also cover related topics through working groups. During the first day two plenary sessions will be held, the first discussing accountability for gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, the duty to investigate and prosecute perpetrators, as well as the right of victims to redress, while the second session will focus on protection and promotion of human rights through action to combat impunity and the right to knowledge, justice and compensation, ensuring that violations of human rights are not repeated.
He said ending impunity was the only way to achieve world peace and security and to redress the victims, considering that this was one of the most important reasons for the success of transitional justice, noting that the time had come to define international and criminal responsibilities in the issue of impunity, in international human rights law and international humanitarian law .
He stressed that achieving justice for victims is the dream of the world since the First World War, pointing out that despite the failures and successes sometimes, "we are in dire need to work together to find an integrated system of laws and mechanisms for prevention, in the field of human rights and international human rights law".