The President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), Judge Theodor Meron, on Friday delivered remarks on the role of international law in combatting impunity at the One Young World Summit in The Hague. The Summit, which took place between 17 and 20 October, gathered a number of distinguished speakers from civil society, the business sector and government and brought together some 1,500 young leaders from around the world in order to debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues faced by the world.

Speaking at the Summit, President Meron highlighted the role international law has played in redefining the conduct of war from World War II to today. Discussing the important work of international courts in this regard, he emphasized that “the ICTY and the other courts established since 1993 have helped to usher in the dawn of a new era: an era in which accountability is increasingly the expectation rather than the exception.

President Meron also stressed the essential role future generations must play in continuing the fight against impunity and ensuring that those responsible for brutal violations of international law are held accountable. He further told the young leaders present that “[i]t will be for [them] and [their] generation to decide how the new universe of accountability shall take shape, and what further transformations in international law and relations will be needed in the decades to come to curb the devastation of armed conflicts and to further advance the humanist principles and aims underlying both the human rights revolution and the new era of accountability.

As part of the Summit, a number of delegates also visited the Mechanism’s Hague branch to learn more about its work and mandate.

The One Young World Summit is an annual event, founded in 2009 and organized by a UK-based charity that brings together the brightest young leaders from around the world, empowering them to create positive change in various fields, including human rights, economic development, education and climate change.