Geneva Institute supports Qatar’s proposal to set up observatory
April 15 2019 01:57 AM


The Executive Director of the Geneva Institute for Human Rights, Dr Nizar Abdulqader, said yesterday that the importance of national, regional and international mechanisms to combat impunity and ensure accountability under the law stems from the fact that the issue has become one of the most relevant for the human rights field around the world.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA) on the sidelines of the conference, he said that the Geneva Institute for Human Rights supports the proposal made by HE the Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri to establish an international observatory on prevention, accountability and impunity.
He expressed his hope that the proposal could also represent an opportunity for many countries in the Arab world to amend their national legislation in line with the Rome Statute.
He noted that there were many violations of human rights around the world, and expressed regret that those cases are often met with impunity. He praised the initiative of Qatar with regard to national, regional, and international mechanisms that fight against impunity under international law, and its support for UN’s efforts in that regard.
He highlighted that Qatar’s human rights record made the country eligible to earn a seat at the UN Human Rights Council.

He also praised the role of the NHRC for its role in promoting human rights locally and internationally, which propelled the committee’s president to the highest ranks in terms of the Global Alliance of the National Rights Institutions (GANHRI) and the committee getting an ‘A’ ranking from the alliance.

‘Lack of justice leads to violence’

The Chair of the Global Alliance of the National Rights Institutions (GANHRI), Dr Carlos Negret Mosquera, said that the lack of justice and difficulties in its administration lead to violence, fragile societies, lack of trust in institutions, human rights violations, and resentment, and disturb the social order.
Delivering a speech at the conference titled “National, regional and international mechanisms to combat impunity and ensure accountability under the law”, in Doha yesterday, he said that the protection of human rights is an obligation that requires efforts by different social stakeholders and institutions.
He added that this implies ensuring adequate access to justice to fight corruption and fully guarantee a welfare state.
He defined Impunity as the impossibility, de jure or de facto, of bringing the perpetrators of violations to account — whether in criminal, civil, administrative or disciplinary proceedings due to the absence of an investigation.
He noted that the commitment to fight impunity is an underlying obligation of national human rights institutions to guarantee access to justice and due process and ensure proper investigation and the participation of victims in the process, to implement their right to the truth and ensure non-repetition guarantees.
Mosquera stressed that national human rights institutions must act as a communication platform between society and institutions.

Human rights violations going unpunished worldwide daily


The Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, Antonio Panzeri, said yesterday that the establishment of the principle of accountability as a central pillar of the architecture of international justice will be the most important factor in winning the fight against impunity for serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law.
Speaking at the opening session of the conference titled “National, regional and international mechanisms to combat impunity and ensure accountability under the law,” he noted that there was no point in human history when the principle of accountability for serious human rights violations fulfilled such a fundamental role in shaping national attitudes on human rights until the present moment. 
He expressed his belief that the acknowledgement and recognition in the aftermath of gross violations of human rights, wherever they may occur, represent intrinsic human values that may help victims of violations to at least begin to turn the page.
He maintained that even with the progress made recently, the world continues to see a huge number of human rights violations on a daily basis that go unpunished.
He stressed the importance of the value of justice and accountability mechanisms, but maintained that remaining vigilant at cynical manipulations of such processes by states seeking to clamp down on fundamental rights was equally important.
He noted that if the international community is to continue to tackle impunity for serious international human rights violations, it is essential that it uses this moment as an occasion to take stock of and promote the positive contributions that accountability can deliver on a societal level. He likened accountability to a soil in which peace can take root. He mentioned South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission as an example of how a polarised society can move towards reconciliation when compromise is understood as a virtue rather than as a weakness.
He noted that there exists today numerous national, regional and international mechanisms to combat impunity and ensure accountability for serious human rights violations across the globe. He added that the impact of the ad hoc international tribunals and the International Criminal Court in pursuing accountability for serious human rights violations has demonstrated how domestic courts can be galvanised and strengthened during the process.

Last updated: April 15 2019 01:59 AM

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