(MENAFN - The Peninsula) QNA
The Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, Antonio Panzeri, said yesterday 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 not only essential that it continues to strongly support the mechanisms designed to ensure accountability, but also to use 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 galvanized and strengthened during the process.
He concluded by saying that the international community needs a renewed sense of vigour and unity to guide the fight against impunity in these worrying times for humanity.