As my mandate at Justice Rapid Response draws to a close, I am inspired to reflect on the importance of the work we continue to do along with our partners for justice and accountability around the world. The past four years have strengthened my conviction that the investigation of serious human rights violations underpins the fight against impunity.
Having worked closely with our many partners, the long-term nature of this accountability work has become clear, with results seen after years or even decades. Only by making resolute efforts today can we ensure that justice takes place tomorrow.
At Justice Rapid Response we have in the last four years used our solid foundation, based on our vision and mandate, to rebuild ourselves to robustly meet these challenges. We have understood that it is crucial for us to enter into partnerships with a variety of interlocutors, be they international organizations, national institutions or civil society actors. Only with such cooperation do we make a marked impact. We also now establish longer-term, extensive goals for our work, so that we can better support the whole process of accountability, whether it is based on a peace agreement, truth and reconciliation process or similar. And finally, the expertise that we identify from our expert roster is the engine for our work: that engine must be diverse, dynamic and timely, to meet the needs of partners.
In the first half of 2022, we have once again seen human rights challenged in a blatant and reckless manner on the world stage, this time under the intensified scrutiny of both mainstream and social media. These acts seem more visible than ever as the recent escalation of the conflict in Ukraine enters its second month. Sadly, we know that this is but one of the many contexts worldwide in which atrocities appear rampant.
However, we are all also witnessing the multiplying efforts of international, national and civil society partners to respond to the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine. But this documentation and investigation will only be fruitful if carried out in a way that meets international standards. Even the most well-intentioned efforts can only bring about results when conducted meticulously. How alleged crimes are documented and recorded will ultimately determine whether evidence is usable in the pursuit of justice for survivors and victims.
I have come to appreciate the extent to which Justice Rapid Response is providing its partners with exactly what is needed, namely helping them rise to the highest levels of investigation in international justice. With Justice Rapid Response well into the second decade of its existence, I strongly encourage states and partners to reinforce their support for this innovative and specialized organization in the years to come.
As I myself move to new professional challenges, I wish Justice Rapid Response and its many friends and supporters the best of success in accomplishing their important work in support of justice and accountability. It has been an honour to take part in this stage of your journey.
Justice Rapid Response