The Security Council, in its resolution 2127 (2013) of 5 December 2013, requested the Secretary-General to rapidly establish an international commission of inquiry for an initial period of one year, including experts in both international humanitarian law and human rights law, in order to immediately investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and abuses of human rights in the Central African Republic by all parties since 1 January 2013, to compile information, to help identify the perpetrators of such violations and abuses, point to their possible criminal responsibility and to help ensure that those responsible are held accountable. The Security Council called on all parties to cooperate fully with such a commission.
In January 2014, Bernard Acho Muna of Cameroon, Fatimata M’Baye of Mauritania and Jorge Castañeda of Mexico were appointed as members of the Commission. Mr. Muna serves as the Chairperson of the Commission. Philip G. Alston of Australia has been appointed as the third member of the Commission to succeed Mr. Castañeda who stepped down for personal reasons in March 2014.
Mr. Alston is an international law scholar and human rights practitioner. He is John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, and co-Chair of the law school’s Centre for Human Rights and Global Justice. Mr. Alston has held a range of senior United Nations appointments in the field of human rights for over two decades, including United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, a position he held from August 2004 to July 2010. Mr. Alston also served as an expert member on the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from 1987 to 1991, and as its Chairperson from 1991 to 1998.
The Commission recently submitted a report on its preliminary findings to the Security Council (S/2014/373) and is expected to submit another report within one year of the adoption of resolution 2127 of 5 December 2013. The Commission is supported by a Secretariat based in Bangui, established by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.