The Mechanism was established by the Human Rights Council on 27 September 2018 in resolution 39/2 to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011, and to prepare files in order to facilitate and expedite fair and independent criminal proceedings. The resolution also empowers the Mechanism to make use of the information collected by the FFM and to collect additional evidence; to document and verify relevant information and evidence, including through field engagement and by cooperating with other entities; and to report on its main activities on an annual basis to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.
The creation of the Mechanism was welcomed by the General Assembly on 22 December 2018 in its resolution 73/264.
On 26 September 2019, the Human Rights Council in resolution 42/3, welcomed the entry into operation of the Mechanism on 30 August 2019 and called upon the United Nations to “ensure that the Mechanism is afforded the necessary support and resources it needs in terms of staffing, location and operational freedom so it can deliver as effectively as possible on its mandate.”
The General Assembly, in its resolution 74/246 on 27 December 2019, further called upon the United Nations to “ensure that the Independent Mechanism is afforded the flexibility that it needs in terms of staffing, location and operational freedom so it can deliver as effectively as possible on its mandate” and also urged the Mechanism to swiftly advance its work.
On 22 June 2020, in resolution 43/26, the Human Rights Council welcomed the work of the Mechanism and called “for close and timely cooperation between the Mechanism and any future investigations by national, regional or international courts or tribunals, including by the International Criminal Court or the International Court of Justice.”
On 31 December 2020, in resolution 75/238, the General Assembly reiterated “the urgent call upon the government of Myanmar […] to cooperate and engage meaningfully with the newly appointed Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the Independent Mechanism and other United Nations mandate holders and mechanisms working on Myanmar, including by facilitating visits and granting unrestricted access throughout the country.”
On 24 March 2021, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 46/21, which reiterated the urgent need to ensure that all those responsible for serious international crimes and human rights violations throughout Myanmar are held to account through credible, competent and independent national or international criminal justice mechanisms. The resolution requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to monitor and assess the situation with a focus on accountability, in complementarity to the work of the Mechanism and the reports of the Special Rapporteur. It also called on the Myanmar authorities to grant full, unrestricted and unmonitored access for the United Nations, including the Mechanism, and urged all relevant actors in Myanmar to cooperate with the Mechanism in the execution of its mandate and in the protection of victims and witnesses. The resolution welcomed the work and reports of the Mechanism, and encouraged it to continue its public outreach efforts, in order to explain its mandate and work to victims and other stakeholders.