Together for Peace Day | Yemen alert | Justice leaders moving on

All UN member states have agreed to work towards Goal 16 of the Global Goals.
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Celebrating the International Day of Peace

Today marks the day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme for this year is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”. 



“In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. This International Day of Peace will focus on engaging and mobilizing people throughout the world to show support for refugees and migrants.

The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict has highlighted the importance of conflict prevention on Peace Day and shared the work its members are doing throughout the world in order to support peace here.

WFM-IGP through its CICC network joins GPPAC's efforts in its partnership Prevention up Front emphasizing the need to end impunity for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity as a preventive mechanism to armed conflicts.

"Systematic violations of human rights, in particular women's rights, and prevailing impunity for grave crimes, are among the root causes of armed conflict and their recurrence. Today's commemoration of the International Day of Peace, we need to promote further women's participation and gender justice as it constitutes a crucial dimension of broadening inclusion for sustaining peace and that peace accords that are truly locally owned and inclusive of civil society and women have at least 50% greater chance to succeed than those that do not." said Jelena Pia-Comella, CICC Deputy Executive Director 

Calls for the international community to take action over Yemen

The Special Advisers to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide and on the Responsibility to Protect have expressed concern at continued allegations of grave violations and abuses of human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law in the context of the on-going conflict in Yemen.

On Tuesday they voiced their support for the call made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish an impartial, international mechanism to investigate the facts and the circumstances in Yemen. “The international community has a moral and legal responsibility to support accountability in Yemen by immediately establishing an impartial international mechanism to comprehensively investigate allegations of serious abuses. The perpetrators must be brought to account. Justice must be served to the victims," the statement reads. 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has reported that since March 2015, there have been 13,920 verified civilian casualties, with 5,159 civilians killed and 8,761 injured - an average of more than 110 civilians killed or injured per week. 


Changes in international justice leadership

Antoine Bernard is stepping down as Chief Executive Officer of the FIDH International Secretariat on September 15 after serving the organisation for 26 years. Antoine established and steered the International Secretariat, playing a fundamental role in the development and expansion of FIDH. Under his guidance, the organisation engaged in innovative and pioneering operations in the world of defending human rights, including through the International Criminal Court.

Meanwhile REDRESS Director Carla Ferstmamn also announced she will be vacating her postion. "It has been a true honour and pleasure to be part of such a special organization and to help it develop and grow into such an important and ground-breaking vehicle for the advancement of the rights of torture survivors and international human rights," she said. 

Brigid Inder, OBE, has also announced her departure from the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WI) after 14 years as the Executive Director. Under her leadership WI has had a significant influence on the field of international and gender justice and specifically the work of the ICC in advancing the gender analysis of international crimes as well as the focus given by the ICC to prosecuting sexual and gender-based violence and the awareness of gender issues within the institutional development of the Court.

"I personally feel very proud of the depth and authenticity of our relationships with local partners in multiple countries who have become recognised as gender justice leaders in their own communities and experts in their own right. They have always been a huge motivating factor in our work and it has been inspiring to co-create with them," Brigid said.

"The transition from establishing a treaty and court to implementation of the treaty is one of the most difficult and challenging, but it is undeniable that these three leaders took campaigning for an end to impunity to the next level. Humanity’s paths of survival are again narrowing, but international law and justice, gender justice, human and victims’ rights are indispensable vectors of peace – Brigid, Antoine, and Carla deserve all the awards and honors they have received." said William R. Pace, Convenor of the Coalition for the ICC.


ICC investigations

CAR: The African Coalition for the International Criminal Court held a meeting on 12 September that enabled collaboration and exchange of views with the ICC's delegation of Experts regarding reparations. Discussions concerned Jean Pierre Bemba Gombo’s victims’ reparations.

DRC: The UNHCR has expressed shock over the death of numerous Burundian nationals - among them likely refugees - in Kamanyola. Reports indicate that Congolese security forces opened fire on the crowd during a confrontation with Burundian demonstrators.

Mali: President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita praised UN efforts in helping Mali to recover from rebel attacks at the United Nations General Assembly. He also called on the international community to help fund a new five-nation force to combat terrorism in the region.


Preliminary examinations

Afghanistan: President Ashraf Ghani praised Donald Trump's recently announced strategy for Afghanistan at Tuesday's session of the United Nations General Assembly. The USA has announced it will send in more than 3,000 new troops. 

Palestine: Four Palestinian human rights organisations have submitted their 4th substantive communication to the ICC, alleging that high-level Israeli civilian and military officials have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the occupied West Bank.

Iraq: Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli has reiterated Ankara’s opposition to a planned Kurdish independence referendum in northern Iraq, warning that disintegration of Iraq will lead to a global conflict.


Campaign for Global Justice

Truth Hounds and the International Partnership for Human Rights organised an event this week at the OSCE HDIM on violations of IHL and international crimes in East Ukraine.

The President of the ICC, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, was received by Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday. She thanked him for his leadership to support peace, development and the protection of those most vulnerable.


Around the world

Syria war crimes investigator Carla Del Ponte has resigned from her post out of frustration over "total impunity".The UN-backed Commission of Inquiry for Syria has collected evidence of alleged atrocities committed in the country since 2011. 

Amnesty International have launched a new website. Check it out here.