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Statement by Ambassador Lyall Grant, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, to the Security Council debate on the ICTY / ICTR Tribunals
I would also like to express the United Kingdom’s thanks to President Meron, President Joensen, as well as Prosecutor Brammertz and Prosecutor Jallow for their reports today.
We would like to congratulate the ICTY on its twenty years of service. It has been instrumental in helping to tackle impunity and delivering justice to the many victims of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. On behalf of the United Kingdom, I would like to thank the ICTY for all of its work and for what it has accomplished since it was established twenty years ago.
We are pleased that verdicts have been delivered in the Stanišić and Simatović and Prlić cases, which are milestones for the ICTY. It is important that everyone respects these verdicts.
We welcome the continued cooperation of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzogovina. State co-operation is essential for the completion of the ICTY’s mandate. We note, however, that there has been limited progress in investigating the support networks that helped Mladic and Hadzic evade capture. Investigating these networks remains a priority.
We welcome the signing of a Protocol covering the exchange of evidence between Bosnia and Serbia. This is a positive step which will help improve co-operation between the two states. However, as the Prosecutor’s report states, the capacity of domestic institutions to conduct effective war crimes prosecutions remains a concern. We encourage all parties to consider this point and to explore ways to improve the capacity of domestic institutions.
It is disappointing to see that the judgment in the Karadzic case is now expected in July 2015. Repeated delays to this trial are disheartening. We urge the Tribunal to take all necessary steps to minimise any further delays given the importance of timely completion of trials.
Turning to the ICTR, we are pleased to see that the Tribunal has completed all of its trial work and that the transition to the Residual Mechanism is progressing well.
Capturing the remaining ICTR fugitives remains a priority. The Tribunal’s work cannot be fully completed until all of these individuals are apprehended. We encourage all member states to provide their full, unequivocal support and cooperation to ensure that the fugitives are captured. At the same time, we encourage the ICTR to co-operate with states to facilitate the national prosecutions that relate to individuals accused of genocide. These actions will help ensure that all accused of genocide face justice.
We note that host states for the acquitted individuals in Arusha have still not been found. This is disappointing and we encourage all parties to work together to find a solution to this problem as soon as possible.
We regret to see that staff retention continues to be an issue for both of the Tribunals. There is no easy solution to this problem and so we encourage both Tribunals to prioritise their resources as rigorously as possible.