Reconciliation and Redressing the Past

Considering that the duty of every State under international law to respect and to secure
respect for human rights requires that effective measures should be taken to combat impunity,
Aware that there can be no just and lasting reconciliation unless the need for justice is
effectively satisfied,
Equally aware that forgiveness, which may be an important element of reconciliation,
implies, insofar as it is a private act, that the victim or the victim’s beneficiaries know the
perpetrator of the violations and that the latter has acknowledged his or her deeds
These are the words of the Preamble to the United Nations Updated Set of Principles Against Impunity
They are indeed wise and true words born of examination of international transitional processes.
Our transitional process is unique in many ways - but not immune to the necessity for an application of international human rights standards.
The very welcome moves towards reconciliation in recent years can only be strengthened by the under pinning of these processes by human rights standards.