ICTY President Carmel Agius met yesterday with the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Mr António Guterres, at UN Headquarters in New York. It was their first meeting since Mr Guterres was appointed as Secretary-General.
At the outset, the Secretary-General thanked President Agius for the remarkable work that the Tribunal has done and its efficiency, stating that it was a very important instrument not only for the administration of justice, but also for deterrence, peace, and the protection of human rights.
President Agius in turn congratulated the Secretary-General on his appointment, expressing gratitude for his commitment to enhancing accountability and the rule of law, as well as his ongoing support to the fight against impunity.
President Agius briefed the Secretary-General on the progress made towards implementation of the completion strategy of the Tribunal, which yesterday marked its twenty-fourth anniversary. He confirmed that the Tribunal is on track to complete its work by the end of 2017 and that judgements in the final cases of Mladić and Prlić et al. will be delivered by 30 November. At the same time, President Agius emphasised the ongoing challenge of staff attrition and the need for support in this regard.
In addition, while discussing the ICTY’s legacy and closure, President Agius conveyed the hope of all staff and Judges that the Secretary-General would be able to attend the Tribunal’s formal Closing Ceremony, which will take place on 19 December 2017.
Finally President Agius expressed his deep appreciation for the valuable work and assistance that the UN Office of Legal Affairs continues to provide to the ICTY, particularly in its final year.
The President is in New York to present the Tribunal’s bi-annual completion strategy report to the UN Security Council.