As we welcome the year 2022, I deliver what will be my last New Year message to you in my role as the Executive Director of Justice Rapid Response. The end of my mandate late this spring gives me pause for reflection on what an inspiring and rewarding experience this has been. I feel a great sense of pride in what we have accomplished together. In the past four years, we have consolidated our role in global accountability and justice work, as well as set in motion new areas of work and expertise.
Last year, we again marked the highest number of deployments of experts since the organization was founded in 2009 and we continued to raise awareness on specific areas that require increased investigative support. We strengthened our emerging thematic focusses, including on supporting the investigation of child rights and of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA). Our 2021 Annual Report, which will be out later this spring, will provide more details on both fields.
As we near the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, my first wish is that this global catastrophe subsides. Like the rest of the world, this predicament obliged us to find new ways of working, and – as it turns out – to deploy even more experts.
In the next few months we will roll out our revised expert recruitment procedures. Given that the expert roster is the engine of our work, this will allow us to be even more responsive to the needs of 2022 and beyond, with increasingly specific requests for expertise or for language skills.
For 2022, our highly competent team has plans for continued strong national and international programmatic work. This will include work on addressing human rights violations in Yemen, supporting transitional justice in Colombia, as well as providing expertise for international investigation mechanisms focussed on countries, such as the newly created mechanism for Ethiopia. There is so much to be done.
I look forward to my remaining months with Justice Rapid Response and entrusting its crucial mission to its future leader and of course to the dedicated team. With that, I wish you a very happy, healthy and peaceful new year, with an invigorated commitment to addressing human rights violations worldwide.
Justice Rapid Response