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