ICTY President Judge Carmel Agius today concluded a three-day official visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). This was the second in a series of visits to the countries of the former Yugoslavia before the Tribunal closes its doors at the end of this year.
During his visit President Agius met with Members of the BiH Presidency, the Deputy Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministries, the Minister of Justice, the President and Deputy President of the BiH Court, and the Mayor of Sarajevo. They discussed a range of topics including the need to intensify regional cooperation in the prosecution of war crimes, the legacy of the Tribunal, and the establishment of ICTY Information Centres in BiH. In the context of the Tribunal’s closure at the end of 2017, President Agius expressed hope that the countries of the former Yugoslavia will continue the work of the Tribunal. He emphasised that time is running out, and that the current state of cooperation among the countries of the region must be improved.
During his meeting with the Mayor, President Agius recalled the initiative for the establishment of ICTY Information Centres pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1966 (2010). Such Centres will play an invaluable role in continuing the legacy of the Tribunal by making the Tribunal’s public records and archives available to the citizens in BiH and throughout the region. The first Information Centre is anticipated to open in Sarajevo later this year. At the BiH Court, President Agius accepted an invitation to become an Honorary Member of the recently established Association of Judges, which is composed of present and former judges of the BIH Court, including international judges.
In addition to these meetings, President Agius visited the University of Sarajevo, where he discussed new opportunities for enhanced cooperation between the Tribunal and the University with the Rector and other high-ranking Faculty members. Further, President Agius visited the Museum of Crimes against Humanity and Genocide 1992 – 1995, which features the ICTY in its permanent exhibition. Finally, he delivered a lecture at the American University in BiH, which presented the President with a Leadership Award for his long-time service to international humanitarian law.
After concluding his official visit, President Agius will stay in Sarajevo where the Tribunal will host its final Legacy Conference from 22 – 24 June 2017, as part of the “ICTY Legacy Dialogues” series of legacy and closing events.