IIIM Head presents tenth report to the General Assembly

New York, April 24th – In her final oral presentation to the General Assembly before stepping down as the Head of the International, Impartial, and Independent Mechanism for Syria (IIIM), Catherine Marchi-Uhel delivered a comprehensive report. Ms. Uhel highlighted the IIIM’s significant contributions to justice in Syria, detailing numerous concrete achievements.

During the presentation, she updated on the IIIM’s progress across its three main lines of inquiry. Ms. Uhel also expressed concerns regarding the financial challenges facing the IIIM, underscoring the urgent need for increased funding to maintain effective support for relevant jurisdictions.

You can read the speech here.

We invite you to watch the oral report and hear Member States’ remarks in the link below.


Secretary-General appoints Mr. Robert Petit of Canada to Head the IIIM

New York, 22 March 2024 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Robert Petit of Canada as Head of 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 the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011.

Mr. Petit will succeed Catherine Marchi-Uhel of France, who was appointed as the first Head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism in 2017.  The Secretary-General expresses his gratitude to Ms. Marchi-Uhel for her dedicated service to the Mechanism and to the United Nations more broadly, as well as for her contributions to the advancement of international criminal justice.

Mr. Petit brings to the position 35 years of criminal justice experience in both national and international settings.  Since 2017, he has been the senior United Nations official to lead the United Nations Follow-On Mechanism on the Democratic Republic of the Congo in relation to the murders of two members of the Group of Experts in March 2017.  Mr. Petit also served as Senior Counsel and Team Leader in the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Section of Justice Canada.

Previously a Crown Attorney in Canada, Mr. Petit has held various international senior prosecutorial positions, including as International Co-Prosecutor of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Senior Trial Attorney at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and Prosecutor of the Serious Crimes Unit, United Nations Mission in East Timor.

Mr. Petit holds an Advanced University Law Degree from the University of Montreal, Canada, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in History from the same university.  He is fluent in English and French.

Mr. Robert Petit of Canada – Head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism Investigating Serious Crimes in Syria | United Nations Secretary-General

IIIM urges for sustained financing to preserve its impact

Brussels, June 15 – During the seventh edition of the EU’s Brussels Conference on the future of Syria, Catherine Marchi-Uhel, the Head of the IIIM, called for Member States to reinforce their support for the IIIM’s work.

In her remarks at the Ministerial Day of the conference, Ms. Marchi-Uhel highlighted the welcome rise in jurisdictions prosecuting core international crimes, with the IIIM providing support for 143 separate investigations across 15 such competent jurisdictions. She expressed gratitude to Member States for enabling this work through their voluntary contributions, but also indicated a critical trend: with requests for assistance to the IIIM tripling annually since 2018, the organization’s capability to continue to respond to the incoming number of requests, while also engaging in proactive substantive work to anticipate the needs of competent jurisdictions, is at risk without a proportional increase in funding.

“If we are to maintain the pace, volume, and quality of our support to jurisdictions and our two-way engagement with our many civil society partners, victims and survivors, additional voluntary contributions are necessary,” said Ms. Marchi-Uhel

She specifically called for “predictable, multi-year funding commitments” to ensure the sustainability of the IIIM’s successful justice facilitation approach, and that its expertise and mission is not compromised.

You can read Ms. Marchi-Uhel’s full remarks as delivered here.

IIIM’s 9th annual report presented to the UN General Assembly

New York, April 25th – The Head of the IIIM, Catherine Marchi-Uhel, gave an oral presentation of our 9th annual report to the UN General Assembly. The presentation updated on the progress of the IIIM’s work and achievements as a justice facilitator over the past year.
During the presentation, Ms. Marchi-Uhel, highlighted the tangible contributions the IIIM had made to promote inclusive justice referencing recent cases where our assistance supported the work of national jurisdictions.
We express gratitude to Member States for their ongoing support and also to Syrian Civil Society, particularly victim/survivor association, for their continued engagement, which is invaluable to the development of the IIIM’s work.
We invite you to watch the oral report and hear Member States’ remarks in the link below.

You can read Ms. Marchi-Uhel’s full remarks as delivered here.

#IIIMSyria #GeneralAssembly #Accountability

General Assembly: 67th plenary meeting, 77th session | UN Web TV

Head of IIIM’s speech at the Brussels VI side event

In the course of the side event “Moving Forward on Truth and Justice: Addressing the crisis of missing persons and detention in Syria”, Head of IIIM Catherine Marchi-Uhel delivered a speech on the intersection between criminal accountability and the search for missing persons.

The side event was held on May 6th, 2022, on the margins of the Brussels VI Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region.

The text of the speech can be accessed through this link.

Text of the Head of the IIIM’s address to the UN General Assembly, presenting the IIIM’s 8th report

Text of the address by Catherine Marchi-Uhel, the Head of the IIIM, presenting the IIIM’s 8th report to the UN General Assembly on April 1, 2022. Ms. Marchi-Uhel gave the oral report, at the 65th plenary meeting in New York, under the agenda item “Prevention of Armed Conflict” and was followed by a debate of Member States.

General Assembly: 65th plenary meeting, 76th session.

Sub-item A of Agenda Item 35: “Prevention of Armed Conflict”.

The text of the address can be accessed through this link.

The records of the meeting and the UN summary can be accessed through this link.

United Nations Security Council Arria-formula meeting on accountability in the Syrian Arab Republic

Head of the IIIM briefs the UN Security Council Arria Formula. Sponsored by Council members, Estonia, France, United Kingdom and the United States, with additional co-sponsors Belgium, Canada, Germany, Georgia, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Qatar, Sweden and Turkey.  On the need for increased efforts by the Council to establish full accountability for the most serious international crimes committed in the Syrian Arab Republic.

For the concept note of this event, click here.

To watch the event’s video, click here.