|(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)||
The Hague, 24 November 1995
The Tribunal welcomes the parties' commitment to justice. Joint statement by the President and the Prosecutor.
The Tribunal has received extracts of the "General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina", which was signed by the Presidents of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the conclusion of the Proximity Peace Talks, held at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio from 1-21 November 1995.
Those parts of the Agreement received, which relate to co-operation with the Tribunal and human rights, have now been reviewed.
On the basis of that review, confined to the issues which affect the Tribunal, the following joint statement by the President of the Tribunal, Judge A. Cassese, and the Prosecutor, Justice R. Goldstone, is issued:
JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT AND THE PROSECUTOR
We welcome the announcement of a Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Agreement is particularly welcome in that it will put an end to bloodshed and armed conflict.
Justice is an indispensable ingredient of the process of national reconciliation. It is essential to the restoration of peaceful and normal relations between people who have had to live under a reign of terror. It breaks the cycle of violence, hatred and extra-judicial retribution. Thus Peace and Justice go hand-in-hand.
This Agreement promises that those who have committed crimes which threaten international peace and security - genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes - will be brought to justice.
The peace agreement and the Tribunal
The Peace Agreement is in our view entirely in keeping with the Security Council resolutions concerning the Tribunal.
1. Thus it reaffirms that the three signatory States, as well as the Republika Srpska, are under a stringent obligation to co-operate with the Tribunal and to render judicial assistance:
- We welcome that, by signing the Agreement, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has now formally undertaken, on its own behalf and on behalf of the Bosnian-Serb authorities, to fully co-operate with the Tribunal.
- Likewise, by signing the Agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and the Bosnian-Croatian Federation have confirmed their continued full co-operation with the Tribunal.
2. The Agreement does not provide for any amnesty for those accused of serious violations of international humanitarian law.
Indeed any such provision would have been contrary to internationally accepted norms of humanitarian law, which must be respected by everyone, both States and individuals.
3. The Agreement has detailed four points worth noting regarding Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely:
- The strict obligation of all competent authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to co-operate with the Tribunal and to provide unrestricted access for its investigators to persons and sites, which would include mass graves.
- The creation of a Human Rights Commission and an International Police Task Force ("IPTF"), which shall furnish information to the Tribunal's investigators.
- The authority of the NATO Implementation Force to arrest any indicted war criminals it encounters or who interfere with its mission.
- The decision, laid down in a provision of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina,to:
1. attach to sentences pronounced by the Tribunal the additional legal consequence that those convicted will be barred from public office;
2. provide for an additional measure against those who have been indicted by the Tribunal, by disqualifying them from public office if they try to evade the Tribunal's authority.
The Tribunal trusts that the Agreement will be implemented.
We welcome the Parties' commitment to fully discharge their obligation to co-operate with the Tribunal and to comply with its orders, which will make the Tribunal more effective in its work.
We trust that the Agreement will be fully and rigorously implemented by all the Parties concerned. More specifically that:
1. All Parties will strictly fulfil their obligations to arrest and surrender persons indicted by the Tribunal;
2. NATO forces, as well as the competent national authorities,will render appropriate assistance to the Tribunal's officials to enable them to carry out their mission.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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