News from the IHFFC

Here you will find the latest reports published over the last 90 days on the activities of the IHFFC.

Earlier reports can be found under «Archives».

 
President of the IHFFC Meets States in Geneva [15.11.2019]
Geneva, 14-15 November 2019

During a stay in Geneva, the President of the IHFFC, Thilo Marauhn, had the opportunity to brief representatives of dozens of States from all regions of the world on the mandate and work of the Commission. He attended a meeting with Humanitarian Experts of the African Group, met with Permanent Representatives of a number of Asian States and held briefings for States from Latin America and the Caribbean as well as for the Member States of the European Union. [...]
Launch of the Group of Friends of the IHFFC at the United Nations [13.11.2019]
New York, 11-13 November 2019

On Monday, 11 November 2019, States formally launched the Group of Friends of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) at the United Nations.

The President of the IHFFC, Thilo Marauhn, and Vice-President Robin McNeill Love, attended the inaugural meeting, which was kindly hosted by the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom in New York. Over the past months, the IHFFC has invited all States, which have recognized the competence of the Commission, to consider joining such an emerging Group of Friends. A number of States from a number of continents have responded favorably to these outreach efforts and declared their willingness to enhance their support for the IHFFC and its mandate through their membership of the Group of Friends. [...]
Continued cooperation with Russia [01.11.2019]
The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (hereinafter referred to as "the Commission”) has taken note of the fact that the Russian Federation has decided to withdraw the declaration made at the time of ratifying the Additional Protocol I of 8 June 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, in accordance with Article 90, paragraph 2, thereof, recognizing ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other High Contracting Party accepting the same obligation, the competence of the Commission. While the Commission would have very much appreciated that the Russian Federation upheld the declaration, it takes positive note of a Press Release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on October 22, 2019, stating that: "The withdrawal of the said declaration will not affect Russia’s participation in Protocol I, which continues to remain valid. Moreover, we have opportunities to cooperate with the commission if need be. According to Protocol I, such cooperation may be based on the consent of the parties concerned.” The Commission looks forward to continuing cooperation between the Commission and the Russian Federation.
IHFFC strives for universal recognition of its competence [18.10.2019]
Since its establishment by States, the International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission (IHFFC) has engaged in continuous efforts in order to achieve universal recognition of its competence. Indeed, in order for the Commission to be able to effectively fulfill its mandate, it is desirable that it is recognized by as many States as possible. The efforts by the Commission in this regard are ongoing today, and will continue in the future.

[Read more]
Rethinking the Humanitarian Health Response to Violent Conflict - London Exploratory Meeting [11.06.2019]
The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London
10 to 11 June 2019

The meeting was convened on behalf of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Dr Robin McNeill Love, Vice President of the IHFFC, attended the meeting to represent the IHFFC.

The purpose of the meeting was to define a work programme on Rethinking the Humanitarian Health Response to Violent Conflict and to consider how a project on this topic could make important, pragmatic contributions to the development of more effective humanitarian health responses in areas experiencing violent conflict. [...]
Third International Conference on Safe Schools [29.05.2019]
Palma de Mallorca, 26-29 May 2019

Francisco Rey, Member of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC), participated in the Third International Conference on Safe Schools as a facilitator. In order to raise awareness of the potential of IHFFC, he took the opportunity to speak with representatives from States and international organizations about the role of the IHFFC in international humanitarian law.

The conference was initiated following the Safe Schools Declaration (2015), which is a political commitment to better protect students, teachers, schools, and universities during armed conflict.
IHFFC Annual Meeting 2019 [04.04.2019]
The International Humanitarian Fact-finding Commission (IHFFC) held its Annual Meeting from 1 to 3 April 2019 in Geneva.

Building upon the momentum reached on the occasion of the successful Eastern Ukraine mission, the 15 Members discussed ways to further capitalise on this significant development.

The Commission is grateful for the support of a number of States expressing their willingness to establish a “Group of Friends” of the IHFFC at the United Nations in New York and is looking forward to playing its part in progressing this important outreach activity. This will be part of a greater initiative to increase the visibility of the Commission.

The Commission also adopted measures to encourage even more States to recognise the competence of the Commission according to Article 90 of Protocol Additional I of the Geneva Conventions.

In view of further enhancing its operational readiness, the Commission took decisions of principle and created a number of Working Groups in order to streamline and update internal guidelines and working methods.

The Members of the Commission used the opportunity of the Annual Meeting to hold a series of exchanges with relevant stakeholders, including Member States, the ICRC and academic institutions. In particular, the Commission invited representatives of other relevant bodies, including the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria and the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen, to share experiences and insights.

The Commission agreed upon its annual Programme of Work. In addition, it adopted the Financial Report for the year 2018 and the draft budget for the year 2020 which will be submitted to Member States according to the established Financial Procedures of the Commission.

The next Annual Meeting will be held in spring 2020 in Geneva.
Seminar on International Humanitarian Law and the European Union  [29.01.2019]
Linz, 29 January 2019

Réka Varga, Member of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC), gave a presentation during the seminar, “International Humanitarian Law and the European Union – Current Developments during the Austrian Presidency”. She was invited by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In order to emphasize the IHFFC’s value as an entity to enhance respect of international humanitarian law, she highlighted the role of the IHFFC during her presentation. This generated significant interest among participants.
IHFFC has proposed its services [29.01.2019]
The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) has proposed its services to the governments of both the Russian Federation and the Ukraine through identical letters dated 4 December 2018. The IHFFC stands ready to assist both the Ukraine and the Russian Federation with regard to the situation relating to the incident, which occurred in the Kerch Strait on 25 November 2018.
17th Session of the Assembly of the State Parties of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court [07.12.2018]
The Hague, 5-7 December 2018

Justinas Žilinskas, Member of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC), was invited to deliver a statement on behalf of the Commission during the General Debate. He highlighted the critical mission and work of the IHFFC and provided a brief report on the Commission’s latest mission in Ukraine.
57th Annual Session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization [12.10.2018]
Tokyo, 9-12 October 2018

To underline the essential role of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) as the only permanent treaty-based organ to enhance respect of international humanitarian law, Shuichi Furuya, Member of the IHFFC, attended the 57th Annual Session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization. He gave a presentation on the IHFFC’s mission and work.
Organization of American States adopts Resolution referring to IHFFC  [05.06.2018]
Washington, D.C., 5 June 2018

During the 48th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), Member States adopted Resolution AG/RES.2926 (XLVIII-O/18) entitled: “International Law” related, among other issues to the “Promotion and respect for international humanitarian law”. The resolution includes paragraphs that invite Member States to consider accepting the competence of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC).

The draft resolution was co-sponsored by Mexico and Argentina.
Expert Seminar on “Protecting Education during Insecurity and Armed Conflict through International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law” [24.05.2018]
Geneva, 24 May 2018

Elzbieta Mikos-Skuza, Vice President of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC), attended the meeting on “Protecting Education during Insecurity and Armed Conflict through International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law” that was organized by the Education Above All Foundation (“EAA”) and The Hague Institute for Global Justice (“HIGJ”). A large number of distinguished international stakeholder organisations were present.

This seminar was part of the joint project by EAA and HIGJ on “Law, Education and the Sustainable Development Goals”, which is a developing strategy on how to improve accountability for attacks on education.

Elzbieta Mikos-Skuza took this opportunity to emphasize the IHFFC’s value as an entity to enhance respect of international humanitarian law. Her address on the IHFFC generated discussions and interests among those present.
International Society for Military Law and the Law of War, 21st Congress [19.05.2018]
Lisbon, 15-19 May 2018

For purposes of underscoring the significance of the mandate of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC), Justinas Žilinskas, Member of the IHFFC, attended the 21st Congress of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War held on 15-19 May 2018 in Lisbon. He gave a presentation on the IHFFC during a panel titled “Protection of civilians in peace operations”.

In addition to the panel, Justinas Žilinskas continued discussions on the IHFFC throughout the Congress.
Palestine has become the 77th State Party to the IHFFC  [13.04.2018]
The IHFFC is very pleased to announce that Palestine has recently become the 77th State to recognize its competence, in accordance with article 90 of the Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
Communication Policy of the Commission [02.03.2018]
Communication Policy of the International Fact Finding Commission
Annual Meeting 2018 [22.02.2018]
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 1 to 3 April 2019 in Geneva.
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.
16th Session of the Assembly of the State Parties of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court [09.12.2017]
New York, 4-9 December 2017

In order to raise awareness of the potential of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC), Justinas Žilinskas, Member of the IHFFC, attended the 16th Session of the Assembly of the State Parties of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. He participated in the General Debate and a number of side events.
News archive »
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