​​​Item 3 - Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. JST R2P (25.06.2024)

Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect (Geneva)

Joint Statement during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions at HRC56

25 June 2024

Mr. President,

I deliver this statement on behalf of members of the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect.

Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, if perpetrated in the context of armed conflict, may constitute war crimes. If part of a collective practice, they may also amount to crimes against humanity or acts of genocide. While strong focus is usually placed on ensuring that perpetrators are held to account, less attention has been put on the victims in the aftermath of unlawful killings and how to bridge the gap between the different existing legal frameworks.

We therefore commend the Special Rapporteur for his report, which highlights the importance of recording and identifying the dead individually, including for the purposes of accountability, which is at the heart of the Responsibility to Protect. The duty to investigate every enforced disappearance and every potentially unlawful death is an obligation under international human rights law. International humanitarian law (IHL) further sets out clear rules to protect the dignity of the dead.

We therefore call on all UN Member States and other responsible parties to ensure adequate steps to recover, identify, record, and lay to rest the deceased with respect and dignity, in a manner consistent with international obligations, particularly those under IHL. Failure to do so can severely undermine truth, justice and reparation for victims and impede societal healing and reconciliation.

How can the international community best support efforts by independent civil society initiatives to uphold protection of the dead, including by accurately recording casualties?

Thank you.