The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is the first international tribunal of its kind since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials and has made pioneering contributions to international criminal justice over the past 24 years. It will leave behind a rich legacy not only for the region of the former Yugoslavia but also for other international courts and tribunals, many of which are located in The Hague, the Netherlands.
Throughout the years the Tribunal has benefited from the generous support of many United Nations Member States, including in particular the Host State, the Kingdom of The Netherlands. In 1993 when the ICTY was established, it was a bold experiment in international justice. It is with great pride that we can look back today and say that – despite the numerous challenges – this experiment has been an unexpected success and, in the words of President Agius, the ICTY “will continue to serve as a reminder of what is possible in the fight against impunity”.
As the last in a series of events entitled ICTY Legacy Dialogues, the official Closing Ceremony promises to be very special and indeed an historic occasion. The ICTY is looking forward to marking this event together with many of its contributors and supporters, as well as other illustrious guests. We are particularly honoured that representatives from countries from the region of the former Yugoslavia will be joining us, and it is our sincere hope that the Tribunal’s legacy will contribute to a lasting peace in the region and continue to inspire the work of other courts and tribunals in this field.
The Tribunal’s official Closing Ceremony will be a high-level event attended by representatives of States, courts, international and regional organisations, and members of civil society. His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will grace us with their presence, along with other special guests. The Tribunal has also invited all former ICTY Judges, Prosecutors, and Registrars, as well as a number of staff members, to attend this historic occasion.
It is a tremendous honour for the Tribunal that its official Closing Ceremony will be held at the Hall of Knights (Ridderzaal) at the Binnenhof in The Hague, The Netherlands.
These truly exceptional premises have been made available by the Kingdom of The Netherlands and we would like to thank in particular the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr Halbe Zijlstra, for hosting this significant event in the Hall of Knights.