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(CC/PIO/027-E) The Tribunal welcomes the parties' commitment to justice. Joint statement by the President and the Prosecutor.

Press Release - 24 November 1995

Release · Communiqué de presse

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)


The Hague, 24 November 1995


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:



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

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.