Crimes Against Humanity News

U.N. Sixth Committee and General Assembly Pass Resolutions on Crimes Against Humanity

The U.N. Sixth Committee considered the ILC’s Draft Articles on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity in October 2020. In large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s limitations on working methods at the United Nations, the Committee was again unable to agree on a way forward in 2020 and instead opted for a technical rollover. This was also the pattern with other topics on the Sixth Committee agenda.

The Committee adopted a draft resolution on November 12, 2020 that took note of the Draft Articles and “[d]ecide[d] to include in the provisional agenda of its seventy-sixth session the item entitled “Crimes against humanity” and to continue to examine the recommendation of the Commission contained in paragraph 42 of its report on the work of its seventy-first session.” (A/C.6/75/L.20). The U.N. General Assembly adopted this text as part of Resolution 136 on December 15, 2021.

Thirteen states joined a statement from Mexico expressing disappointment in the outcoming and suggesting that this resolution “run[s] the risk – as it has been the case with other ILC products in the past– of getting caught in a cycle of consideration and postponement of the articles without concrete action…”.