The ICTY Office of the Prosecutor was awarded the Special Achievement Award from the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP), at their annual conference in Bejing today.
In presenting the award, IAP Secretary General Han Moraal emphasized the ICTY OTP’s successful prosecutions of many of the most senior political and military leaders responsible for the crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, its important contributions to the development of international criminal law and international humanitarian law, and its contributions to ensuring national prosecutions of the crimes and the continuation of the accountability process.
Prosecutor Serge Brammertz thanked the IAP by saying: 'It is my pleasure and privilege to accept this special Achievement Award on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. We are honored and humbled to be recognized by our colleagues and fellow prosecutors from around the world.'
In his message to OTP staff, Prosecutor Brammertz said: 'This award is a tribute first and foremost to you, OTP staff past and present. The successful results our Office has achieved over its mandate are the result of your dedication and excellence. Coming from over sixty-five different countries, you left behind your homes and careers to fight for the victims and to bring the perpetrators of horrific atrocities to justice.'
Prosecutor Brammertz noted that today millions of victims from today’s armed conflict have no realistic hope they will see justice for the crimes they have suffered. ‘That is why’, the Prosecutor concluded, ‘more and more national prosecutors have an important role to play in securing justice for atrocity crimes’ and ‘all of us, international and national prosecutors, must join together to show today’s victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide that they have not been forgotten, and that justice can be done.’
According to the IAP the Special Achievement Award is given to a prosecutor, whether a member of the IAP or not, who has demonstrated special dedication in the pursuit of his/her professional responsibilities, or who has discharged his/her professional responsibilities in the face of special hardship or adversity or under other circumstances which deserve special recognition.