External cooperation

Mechanism delegation in meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia in December 2019 (Malaysia MFA)

To discharge its mandate, the Mechanism needs the agreement of relevant UN Member States to allow it to conduct activities within their territories, taking into account their concerns and the sensitivities involved. Without the cooperation of relevant Member States, the Mechanism will not have full access to information, documents and evidence necessary for the implementation of its mandate.

The Mechanism seeks cooperation with Member States where relevant victims, witnesses and evidence may be found, and will continue to engage with governments at various levels to ensure their understanding of the Mechanism’s mandate, the nature of the activities it seeks to conduct within their territories, including investigative and public outreach activities, and the importance of their cooperation to enable its work. Such cooperation may also include assistance for the support and protection of witnesses, as appropriate.

Another form of cooperation which is instrumental for the Mechanism’s contribution to accountability is related to the national, regional or international tribunals or courts which have or may in the future have jurisdiction over the crimes within the mandate of the Mechanism. Such tribunals and courts must be willing and able to use the evidence collected by the Mechanism As the Mechanism itself cannot prosecute or adjudicate cases, the existence of suitable judicial bodies are a necessary condition for achieving the Mechanism’s mandate.

Member States have also been critical in supporting the Mechanism’s mandate and ensuring that it has the necessary resources needed to deliver on its mandate. The Human Rights Council established the Mechanism in its resolution 39/2 (2018), which was subsequently welcomed by General Assembly resolution 73/264 (2018). To date, the Human Rights Council has adopted five resolutions and the General Assembly has adopted four resolutions regarding the Mechanism’s mandate. Continued Member State support for such resolutions will be essential for the Mechanism to carry out its work in an effective and sustained manner.

Furthermore, in resolutions 42/3 (2019), 43/26 (2020) and 46/21 (2021), the Human Rights Council called upon the Mechanism to be “afforded the necessary support and resources it needs in terms of staffing…so it can deliver as effectively as possible on its mandate”. The Mechanism is funded from the UN regular budget, through assessed contributions from Member States. As a result, the Mechanism relies upon Member States to approve its budget on an annual basis. The Mechanism is also seeking complementary voluntary contributions from Member States, as foreseen in its Terms of Reference.

The Mechanism is an Associate member of the European Network for investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes (‘Genocide Network’). The Genocide Network’s mandate is to ensure that perpetrators do not attain impunity within its Member States.