Legacy of the ICTY in the former Yugoslavia - 2012 Conferences

 

Sarajevo, 6 November 2012
Zagreb, 8 November 2012
Conferences of the Outreach Programme of the ICTY sponsored by the EU, the Governments of the Netherlands and Switzerland

 

As part of the Tribunal’s efforts to encourage dialogue on its legacy in the former Yugoslavia, the ICTY convened two conferences in November in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

The conferences provided an opportunity for local stakeholders to engage in direct and constructive dialogue about the ICTY’s role in the region. Themes addressed at these conferences included the Tribunal’s contribution to transitional justice, the Tribunal’s role in helping communities come to terms with past conflicts, and ways in which the legacy of the Tribunal can remain relevant to those most directly affected by its work: the citizens of the former Yugoslavia.

The first conference was held in Sarajevo on Tuesday, 6 November which was followed by a second conference in Zagreb on Thursday, 8 November.

The conferences were organised by the ICTY Outreach Programme and made possible through the generous support of the European Union and the Governments of The Netherlands and Switzerland.

Commenting on the conferences, ICTY President Theodor Meron stated: “With the Tribunal’s final trials underway, it is now more important than ever for the ICTY to reach communities in the former Yugoslavia. Through these conferences, the Tribunal seeks not only to share information about its accomplishments, but also to hear the views of interested communities as to what further steps are necessary to strengthen the legacy of the Tribunal within the region of the former Yugoslavia.”

Apart from representatives of the Tribunal, participants included officials from national judiciaries, experts on transitional justice issues, victims, lawyers, journalists, politicians, representatives of NGOs, academics, artists and other stakeholders from the former Yugoslavia.

Each conference included four panel discussions led by a moderator who encouraged an active and wide-ranging debate among panelists. The topics of the panels were the same for each conference, but the specific issues raised and debated differed depending on local priorities.

The impetus behind this programme stems from two ICTY legacy conferences held in February 2010 and November 2011 in The Hague, at the initiative of former President, Judge Patrick L. Robinson. Participants at these conferences underscored the pressing need for discussions to be held in the former Yugoslavia concerning the Tribunal’s achievements and its legacy in the region.