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Junior diplomats from the Balkans learn about the Tribunal

The Hague, 23 October 2014

A group of 17 junior diplomats from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania and Turkey visited the ICTY today. A group met with Nenad Golčevski, Head of the ICTY Outreach, who introduced them to the work and achievements of the ICTY. In addition, visitors had the opportunity to follow the hearing in the Mladić case.

Talking about the co-operation between the ICTY and the countries of the former Yugoslavia, Golčevski stressed the importance of transfer of knowledge from the Tribunal to the region and strengthening of the national judicial systems. He added that, with the ICTY approaching the end of its mandate, it is crucial to ensure that local courts continue the Tribunal’s work and effectively process war crimes cases.

The visitors wanted to know more about the Tribunal’s role in post-conflict processes in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, given that, as they said, the public perception of the ICTY’s work in the region is often based on ethnic prejudice. Golčevski explained that the Outreach has limited resources, and that its strategy is to focus its efforts on some of the key stakeholders and target groups, such as the victims and their families, young people, journalists, judicial professionals and civil society organisations. The junior diplomats were also interested to learn more about the Mechanism for International Criminal tribunals, as the successor institution of the Tribunal.

The visit was organised by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael in co-operation with ICTY Outreach.