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6 December 2010 - Security Council - International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia - Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

First of all, I would like to thank the Presidents and Prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for introducing their quarterly reports (see S/2010/574 and S/2010/588).

If we want the Tribunals to have lasting impact in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and other regions of the world where political and military leaders still believe that they can gain or remain in power through violence, then we must enable the Tribunals to appropriately and fully discharge their mandates. First of all, this means that the Council’s vigilance must not waver, in particular with respect to the cooperation of States in arresting accused persons. The arrest and transfer of fugitives to the Tribunals remains a priority. Cooperation in this area is not only a bilateral matter between the Prosecutors and the States concerned; the international community and the Council, which established the two Tribunals, have a direct interest.

With respect to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the President and Prosecutor Jallow have provided nuanced assessments to the Council. Ten accused persons — among them three high-profile accused — remain at large. But Kenya’s cooperation, where the Council expressed some questions in June, could now materialize with respect to the Félicien Kabuga file. We welcome Kenya’s open-mindedness and we hope, as does the Prosecutor, that the ongoing dialogue will result in the rapid arrest of Félicien Kabuga. We also hope for progress with respect to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where most of the fugitives reside, as well as in Zimbabwe. On behalf of France, I would like to thank Prosecutor Jallow and his entire team for their tireless efforts towards dialogue with countries of the region to ensure that the last of the fugitives are arrested.

With respect to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the arrest by Serbian authorities of Mr. Radovan Karadžić constituted considerable progress. We also await the arrests of Mr. Mladić and Mr. Hadžić. As the Council of the European Union reiterated in its decision of 25 October, both the Stabilization and Association Agreement and the Interim Agreement require Serbia’s full cooperation with the ICTY, which is an essential precondition to joining the European Union. In that regard, the Council of the European Union will attentively follow the reports of the Office of the Prosecutor on progress in that area. The European Union has urged Serbia to implement the recommendations made by the Office of the Prosecutor to the Security Council in June with respect to Serbia’s assistance, especially on the critical issue of the arrest of the last two accused at large, namely, Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić. That would constitute the most convincing evidence of Serbia’s efforts in that area.

We must be very clear. Arrest warrants will not disappear. The question of fugitives will not disappear from the Council’s agenda. If they are not arrested in the next few months, the ability to look for and arrest them will depend on the residual mechanism, which will, at the appropriate time, have to take over responsibility from the Tribunals. That is the goal of the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals which, under the effective leadership of Austria, has developed a draft resolution on the statute for the mechanism. I would therefore like to thank our Austrian colleague for his leadership on this matter.

The briefing that we have just heard confirms the trial timetables as well as the difficulties that the Tribunals will have in keeping to the timetables if we do not give them the wherewithal to conduct the trials and appeals while fully respecting the rules of fairness. We must find pragmatic solutions for the problems of retaining staff and the length of the judges’ mandates so that the Tribunals will step up the effectiveness and the pace of their work.



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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU