Today we announce Australia will contribute funding towards a United Nations mechanism that lays the groundwork for future criminal prosecutions of those responsible for atrocities in Syria.

Australia has consistently condemned the atrocities being committed in Syria by all sides to the conflict. Attacks have been indiscriminate, disproportionate and targeted at civilians.  

The Australian Government remains deeply concerned about the shocking humanitarian crisis created by the conflict in Syria.

The Mechanism, established by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 2016, will collect, preserve and analyse evidence of serious international crimes committed by all sides to the conflict in Syria.

Australia will contribute $150,000 in response to a United Nations call for states to fund start-up costs for the Mechanism.

The Mechanism is known formally as the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011.

History shows that investigating serious international crimes is critical to re-establishing an inclusive and lasting peace – and preventing the recurrence of such crimes.

The Mechanism has a crucial role to play in laying the foundations for future criminal prosecutions.

It will also send a message to the victims of such crimes that the international community is committed to achieving justice.

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