Principles against Impunity: the Human Rights Council adopts a Resolution presented by Switzerland instituting a Special Rapporteur (last modification, the 19.09.2012)

Bern, Press release, 29.09.2011

The UN Human Rights Council has adopted by consensus a resolution presented by Switzerland, Argentina, and Morocco instituting a Special Rapporteur for the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-reccurence. The resolution, presented on 29 September 2011, was sponsored by nearly 80 States representing all regional groups.

Combating impunity, dealing with the past, restoring the rule of law, and rehabilitating victims are often at the heart of an overall process aimed at rebuilding societies marked by a legacy of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and ensuring a lasting peace. These themes are among the priorities of Swiss foreign policy. For this reason, Switzerland decided to propose the creation of a Special Rapporteur tasked with supporting States to deal adequately with situations in which serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law have taken place, by providing them with recommendations, advice, and technical assistance.  

The Special Rapporteur will become the focal point on this issue within the United Nations system.  

The adoption of this resolution is a major achievement for Switzerland which has been engaged in this domain for several years. It is also a manifestation of the positive role that the Human Rights Council plays in the concrete implementation of human rights and an acknowledgement on the part of the States of how important it is that serious violations of human rights be dealt with in an adequate manner.  

Switzerland believes that this new special procedure will contribute to the fight against impunity, that it will enable the States to fulfil their obligations better and, above all, that it will be a channel allowing the voice of the victims to be heard and guaranteeing that their rights be respected.

For further information, please contact:  
Information FDFA: Raphael Saborit, Spokesperson, +41 79 335 76 14

Further information:

Dealing with the past, Swiss involvement
United Nations Human Rights Council

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs