Efforts are ongoing to ascertain and encourage States’ cooperation with the Mechanism, including sharing any information and evidence in their possession. The Mechanism encourages all States, including parties to hostilities, to provide information and evidence in their possession.
The Mechanism is also in contact with various States’ “war crimes units” to gather their views on how the Mechanism can best provide assistance to their efforts in prosecuting those responsible for international crimes in Syria.
UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria
In liaising with NGOs, the Mechanism aims to enhance their understanding of the Mechanism’s mandate and also to discuss modalities for cooperation, as well as securing their commitment to provide the Mechanism with relevant information and documentation in their possession.
While operational details or working procedures may be addressed, if required, in individual memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between the Mechanism and each organization, the principles outlined in the protocol provide a general framework for cooperation that can extend to other NGOs willing to collaborate with the Mechanism in the future.
Protocol of Cooperation between the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism and Syrian Civil Society Organisations participating in the Lausanne Platform
In November 2018, the IIIM also initiated a series of periodic information bulletins with a view to establish and maintain a regular dialogue with the broadest possible range of relevant civil society actors. These bulletins provide information about various aspects of the IIIM’s work of interest to NGOs. They also aim to provide answers to questions some NGOs have asked that might be of interest to all.
The first bulletin focuses on co-operation between NGOs and the IIIM regarding the collection of information and evidence of crimes committed in Syria, and in particular:
– What value can the IIIM add to Syrian civil society’s documentation and analysis regarding crimes?
– What kind of material gathered by Syrian NGOs is of particularly high value for the IIIM?
– What are the possible frameworks for collaboration between NGOs and the IIIM?
These questions focus on various aspects of the documentation of crimes, which is a core aspect of the IIIM’s mandate. The IIIM has been conceived as a central and secure repository of information and evidence of crimes committed in Syria. Since beginning its collection activities, it has been prioritizing access to the documentation gathered by NGOs in recognition of the crucial role they can play in the accountability process. But there are many other important aspects of the IIIM’s engagement with NGOs. For instance, the IIIM is interested in hearing from NGOs about potential sources of information and evidence, including material for which there is a pressing need for preservation. NGOs can bring to the IIM’s attention thematic reports and expert advice of relevance to its work. Finally, NGOs can help inform the IIIM’s victim-centred approach by sharing with it their knowledge of victims’ perspective and expectations about justice for the crimes they suffered.
Bulletin No. 1 - November 2018