France commends the ICTY for its tremendous work [fr]
ICTY/ICTR - Speech by Mrs Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 7 June 2017
I thank President Agius, President Meron and Prosecutor Brammertz for their very comprehensive briefings.
France reiterates its gratitude and support to the entire staff of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals for their efforts in conducting successful judicial proceedings. Although the ICTY is now in its final year of operation, it is extremely important that it continue to be supported by its entire team until the very end. As the Mechanism strengthens, it is also important for us to ensure that the model adopted by the Security Council and the tools and resources provided to enable it to effectively discharge its duties with reduced costs, are sustainable.
We commend President Agius’s firm commitment to staying the course and completing the work of the ICTY in 2017. The confirmation of the very good progress made in the most recent proceedings at both the first instance and appeal stages, as well as the start of liquidation-related activities, is in line with the expectations of the Security Council when it extended the Tribunal’s mandate for the final time through resolution 2329 (2016).
The Tribunal will close its doors this year. France commends the ICTY for its tremendous work in advancing reconciliation and peace — a process that is still under way for the peoples of the region. An overall review should also be conducted this year to assess progress made and identify good practices and areas in which improvements can be made in dispensing justice more effectively. We know that the ICTY’s experience is vital. The ICTY would be the first Tribunal to share its experience with other international judicial institutions. The legacy of the ICTY must be preserved and maintained in order to strengthen international criminal justice, as a whole. France will participate in the events planned for the closure of the ICTY, which will be held in New York at the same time as the opening session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
As the ICTY nears the completion of its work, France reiterates that, now more than ever before, States of the region are responsible for cooperating fully with the Tribunal, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council. Such cooperation extends to the Mechanism. We call on all States to do their utmost to ensure that the eight fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) are arrested. We support the efforts of the Prosecutor to restructure his teams and to strengthen cooperation with his partners. All individuals suspected of committing crimes during the genocide in Rwanda must be brought to justice. In that regard, France recalls that cases referred in 2007 by the ICTR are still ongoing and are the subject of regular discussions with the Prosecutor of the Mechanism, as well as with the Mechanism’s specially appointed observer.
During this pivotal year, my delegation reiterates its full support for the smooth transition to the Mechanism and welcomes the fact that the ICTY and the Mechanism assist each other, taking into account, in particular the ICTR’s experience in handing over functions to the Mechanism. France welcomes President Meron’s determination to rely on the good practices of the ICTR and the ICTY in prosecuting cases and in working with the Mechanism. In that regard, my delegation reiterates the importance of the recommendations put forward by the Office of Internal Oversight Services in the review of the ICTY conducted in 2016 and calls on the Mechanism to follow those recommendations with regard to its operations, developing a code of ethics and establishing a disciplinary mechanism for judges. France would also like to recall that the diversity of legal systems, which we know President Meron holds dear, is a factor in the success of the mission of the Mechanism and of all international criminal courts.
Finally, France reiterates its support for the activities of the ICTY and the Mechanism that seek to build national judicial capacity. Such actions are an invaluable contribution to the fight against impunity and access to justice throughout the world. We welcome the training courses envisaged in the Central African Republic, which would bolster the Special Criminal Court. We encourage the Mechanism to continue those activities.
The Security Council decided to establish international criminal tribunals in the 1990s because it believed that the States concerned and their citizens would be their primary beneficiaries through the gradual strengthening of the rule of law, which ensures the independence of the judiciary and acknowledges full accountability.