The International Humanitarian Fact-finding Commission (IHFFC) held its annual meeting from 19 to 21 February 2018 in Geneva.
During this meeting, the Commission discussed, inter alia, its strategy and programme of work for the upcoming year, and it adopted its communication policy.
The Commission also carried out a lessons-learned exercise on its first mandate in Easter Ukraine in 2017 (independent forensic investigation in relation to an incident that affected the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission).
The Commission organized a well-attended briefing on this first mission for representatives of States and civil society. This event attracted great interest.
The next annual meeting will be held from 18 to 20 February 2019 in Geneva.
· 15 December 2017
Meeting with Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC [15/12/2017]
On 23 November 2017, the President of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC), Thilo Marauhn, met with Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), at the ICRC headquarters in Geneva.
They had an interesting exchange of views on the mandate recently given to the Commission by the OSCE in relation to an incident that affected its Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. They also had a fruitful discussion on the role of the IHFFC in the implementation of international humanitarian law and on the support that the ICRC can provide to the Commission. The IHFFC is grateful for this support.
Former IHFFC Vice President appointed as a member of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen established by the Human Rights Council [15/12/2017]
On 4 December 2017, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein announced the appointment of the members of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen established by the Human Rights Council. The members are Kamel Jendoubi (Tunisia), who will serve as chairperson, Melissa Parke (Australia) and Charles Garraway (United Kingdom). The latter was an esteemed member of the IHFFC and until recently one of its Vice Presidents. The Commission wishes him all the best in his new position.
· 07 September 2017
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission was not targeted, concludes Independent Forensic Investigation into tragic incident of 23 April 2017 [07/09/2017]
VIENNA, 7 September 2017 – The Independent Forensic Investigation (IFI) team today presented its report to the Permanent Council of the OSCE on the tragic incident of 23 April 2017, when an OSCE armoured vehicle was struck by an explosion resulting in the death of an OSCE paramedic. The IFI team was assembled and deployed by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission at the request of the OSCE. [...]
· 19 May 2017
International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to lead an independent forensic investigation in Eastern Ukraine (Luhansk province) [19/05/2017]
Bern/19.05.17 – The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) was asked by the OSCE to lead an independent forensic investigation in relation to the incident of 23 April 2017 that occurred in Pryshyb (Luhansk Province) and caused the death of a paramedic and the injury of two monitors of its Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM).
On 18 May 2017 the Secretary General of the OSCE Lamberto Zannier and the President of the IHFFC Thilo Marauhn signed a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations, followed by a distinct agreement relating to the incident. Based on the terms of reference agreed therein, the purpose of the independent forensic investigation is to establish the facts of the incident by conducting a post-blast scene forensic and technical assessment against the background of international humanitarian law. While the investigation will be guided by the applicable rules of international humanitarian law, criminal responsibility and accountability for the explosion is outside its scope.
Ambassador Alfredo Labbé (Chile), Vice-President of the IHFFC, will lead the investigation team. The other members of the team will be proposed by the IHFFC and selected by the team leader in consultation with the OSCE Secretary General.
The team will conduct its investigation confidentially and will report to the OSCE Secretary General only.
· 22 February 2017
Annual Meeting of the Commission [22/02/2017]
The International Humanitarian Fact-finding Commission (IHFFC) held its annual meeting from 20 to 22 February in Geneva.This was the first meeting of the IHFFC members since their election, held last December, by the 76 States parties to the First Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions that have recognised the Commission's competence.
During this annual meeting, the members have elected the bureau of the Commision, composed of Prof. Thilo Marauhn (Germany), President; Dr. Elzbieta Mikos-Skuza (Poland), 1st Vice-President; Dr. Mohamed Mahmoud Al Kamali (United Arab Emirates), Vice-President; Dr. Robin McNeill Love (United Kingdom), Vice-President and Ambassador Alfredo Labbé (Chile), Vice-President.
· 08 December 2016
Diplomatic Meeting of 8 December 2016, Bern - Election of the 15 members of the IHFFC and amendments of the Financial Procedures [08/12/2016]
At the invitation of Switzerland, the depositary state of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, the fifth diplomatic meeting was held in Bern on 8 December 2016, during which the members of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission were elected. The 76 States Parties to the first Additional Protocol of 1977 to the Geneva Convention accepting the competence of the Commission were entitled to participate in this election. 68 States took part in the meeting under the chairmanship of Ambassador Jürg Lindenmann Deputy Director of the Directorate of International Law DIL of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA and the vice-chairmanship of H.E Ambassador Antonio Trombetta, Ambassador of Argentina in Bern.
After the first ballot the following candidates were elected (in the alphabetical order of their state of origin):
Mr RACHID BELHADJ, Algeria Mr MARIO J.A. OYARZÁBAL, Argentina Mr ALFREDO LABBÉ, Chile Mr THILO MARAUHN, Germany Mr STELIOS PERRAKIS, Greece Mrs RÉKA VARGA, Hungary Mr SHUICHI FURUYA, Japan Mr JUSTINAS ŽILINSKAS, Lithuania Mrs ELŻBIETA MIKOS-SKUZA, Poland Mr ABDULLA RASHID S. A. AL-NAIMI, Qatar Mr FRANCISCO REY MARCOS, Spain Mrs ÅSA MOLDE, Sweden Mrs LAURENCE BOILLAT, Switzerland Mr MOHAMED MAHMOUD AL KAMALI, United Arab Emirates Mr ROBIN M C MCNEILL LOVE, United Kingdom
For the final results containing the number of votes obtained by the elected candidates including the absolute majority and the list of participants, please click here. The newly-formed Commission was elected for a term of office of five years and will enter into function at its first annual meeting planned to take place on 20-22 February 2017 in Geneva. During this diplomatic meeting, the 68 participating States have also unanimously adopted amendments of the Financial Procedures proposed by the Depositary. To consult these amendments, please click here.
Final Results (First Ballot incl. absolute majority) List of participants
· 21 October 2016
6th Committee UN General Assembly, New York [21/10/2016]
Statement before the 6th Committee UN General Assembly, New York, October 7th 2016
· 07 September 2016
Diplomatic meeting of the States accepting the competence of the IHFFC [07/09/2016]
Diplomatic meeting of the States accepting the competence of the IHFFC will take place on December 8th 2016 in Bern. In its capacity as Depositary Switzerland has convened this conference in accordance with Article 90(1)(b) of the 1977 Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
The main object of this conference is the election of the 15 members of the Commission for a term of 5 years. The States have been invited to submit candidatures no later than 15 October 2016.
The IHFFC at 25 - Presidential Report 2015 [07/09/2016]