Genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. They have a lasting impact on societies and can continue to destabilize the safety and security of communities, regions and nations for decades after they occur.
Governments, civil society and international criminal tribunals cannot address all the challenges in this area on their own. As the world’s largest international police organization, INTERPOL possesses the police networks, technical tools and mandate to complement the ongoing efforts in the area of war crimes.
INTERPOL has been cooperating with the United Nations International Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda since 1994. The INTERPOL General Assembly has adopted several resolutions increasing the Organization’s support to its member countries and partner organizations in the investigation and prosecution of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
INTERPOL's role in the area of serious international crimes has been clearly defined in agreements signed over the years with various international courts and tribunals, and has been further highlighted by resolutions adopted by the governing bodies of the United Nations and INTERPOL.
- INTERPOL General Assembly Resolutions AGN/63/RES/9 (1994), AGN/66/RES/10 (1997), AG-2003-RES-08 (2003) and AG-2004-RES-16 (2004), concern the cooperation of INTERPOL with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the International Criminal Court.
- 2003: The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution S/RES/1503/2003 on the Completion Strategy for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) which, among other things, “Calls on States to cooperate with INTERPOL in apprehending and transferring persons indicted by the ICTY and the ICTR”.
- 2004: The 73rd session of the INTERPOL General Assembly held in Cancun called for increased INTERPOL support "for the investigation and prosecution of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity". See Resolution AG-2004-RES-17.
- 2007: The 19th INTERPOL African Regional Conference called for all INTERPOL National Central Bureaus to provide whatever assistance necessary to arrest the remaining fugitives wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
- 2008: The 37th INTERPOL European Regional Conference called for INTERPOL National Central Bureaus to provide the widest possible assistance to locate and arrest the four remaining fugitives wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
- 2009: The 4th International Expert Meeting on Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, held in Oslo and attended by war crime units from many INTERPOL member countries, recommended that a central repository be created to facilitate sharing of information relative to serious international crimes investigations throughout the world.
- 2010: The 79th session of the INTERPOL General Assembly held in Doha, Qatar, passed a resolution which further developed the manner in which INTERPOL handles new requests for Red Notices related to Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes. See resolution AG-2010_RES-10.