Justice is a prerequisite for lasting peace and security [fr]
Debate IRMCT - Statement by Mrs Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 6 June 2018
I thank President Meron and Prosecutor Brammertz for their letters (see S/2018/347 and S/2018/471) and briefings.
Six months after the closure of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and more than two years after the closure of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals has demonstrated that it is fully independent and capable of effectively implementing the mandate entrusted to it by the Security Council in resolution 1966 (2010).France welcomes the respect of the timetable for legal proceedings, with its April 2018 decision on the Šešeljcase and an expected appeal judgement in the Karadžić case in December 2018, well ahead of schedule. France thanks the staff for their work and reaffirms the temporary nature of the mechanism, which must innovate, simplify and adapt its procedures and working methods, giving due consideration to the diversity of legal systems, and complete all the trials in progress within the set time limits.
France also welcomes the transfer to Senegal and Benin of persons convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to serve their sentences there. We recognize the importance of a commitment by all Member States to assisting the Mechanism in the implementation of its mandate, in particular with regard to the enforcement of sentences. It is a decisive contribution to the work of justice that we are pursuing, which must be welcomed and encouraged. France also recalls that States are required to cooperate with the Mechanism, in particular in the pursuit and apprehension of the eight fugitives indicted by the ICTR, for which the Mechanism is responsible. Their crimes cannot go unpunished.
During the period under review, the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) assessed the working methods of the Mechanism and issued its report on 8 March. In that regard, France welcomes the Mechanism’s cooperation and the submission of the progress report (see S/2018/471) on its work, in accordance with presidential statement S/PRST/2018/6, of 19 March.
We call on the Mechanism to implement the recommendations of the Office of Internal Oversight Services in order to continue to meet the austerity and efficiency requirements, as identified by OIOS in its report. In that regard, we welcome the adoption of a code of conduct and a disciplinary mechanism for judges.
Our semi-annual debate is an opportunity to recall the major work of the international community in the service of the fight against impunity and reconciliation, and the responsibility incumbent on the States concerned to ensure that this work is ongoing and on people’s minds by continuing their tireless efforts to prosecute the perpetrators of crimes within their jurisdiction. Those are the conditions for genuine national and regional reconciliation.
France welcomes the assistance provided by the Mechanism to national courts responsible for prosecuting the perpetrators of international crimes committed in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. On the other hand, the feeble cooperation among the Balkan States in the prosecution of middle-level criminals, noted by Prosecutor Brammertz, is worrying. For France and the European Union, cooperation with the Mechanism and regional cooperation remain a priority. I would also like to echo the concern expressed by Prosecutor Brammertz regarding certain persons, convicted by international criminal tribunals, denying their crimes and their responsibility as soon asthey are released.
We wish to reaffirm here that judicial decisions
on war crimes, genocide crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda are based on facts and responsibilities rigorously established through fair trials. Those judicial decisions, like all judicial decisions, as well as the duty to respect victims, are binding on all. We encourage the Mechanism to continue its discussions on the introduction of early release conditions.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the Ambassador of Peru, Chair of the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, his entire team, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, the Office of Legal Affairs and the Office of Internal Oversight Services for their efforts to implement resolution 1966 (2010).The resolution that the Security Council will adopt by the end of this month should allow this work, which is obviously not yet complete, to continue. More than ever, the fight against impunity and for an independent and impartial judiciary must be at the heart of the Council’s action, given that justice is a prerequisite for lasting peace and security.