(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
CC/ S.I.P/ 473e
Mr. Jacques chirac, President of the French Republic, visits the
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The visit of Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, on Tuesday 29 February 2000 was the first ever to the Tribunal by the Head of State of a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
The President of the Republic was accompanied, amongst others, by His Excellency Mr. Pierre Moscovici, Minister for European Affairs.
President Chirac met with the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, His Excellency, Judge Claude Jorda, as well as with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and for Rwanda (ICTR), Mrs. Carla Del Ponte. A larger meeting was held between the presidential delegation and a delegation of the Tribunal attended by all the Judges, the Registrar, the Deputy Prosecutor and the Deputy Registrar.
The President of the French Republic reiterated to his hosts France’s desire to persist in the struggle against the impunity of perpetrators of crimes against humanity through effective co-operation with the ad hoc tribunals and commitment to the proposed future International Criminal Court.
On behalf of the International Tribunal, President Jorda underscored how important it is for the Tribunal to know it can count on the support and backing of all States, in particular, for arrests and the production of evidence. He emphasised that President Chirac’s visit highlighted the quality of France’s relationship with the ICTY and the fact that France has supported the Tribunal from the outset.
FRANCE, A STAUNCH SUPPORTER FROM THE OUTSET
In 1992, France was one of the first countries to propose that an international tribunal be established and to put forward one of the draft statutes which resulted in the establishment of the ICTY in 1993. Shortly thereafter, it became the first United Nations member State to pass a law on 1 January 1995 governing the methods of co-operation between the French legal system and the ICTY. More recently, France has become the first permanent member of the Security Council, and the sixth State, to sign an Agreement on the Enforcement of Sentences of the International Tribunal with the United Nations (see Press Release dated 25 February 2000).
In addition to their contributions to the United Nations general budget, the French authorities also funded the installation of audio-visual equipment at the ICTY and the ICTR vital to the proper conduct of hearings. France is among those countries which in 1999 made available to the Office of the Prosecutor a team of experts for investigations in Kosovo.
As of 25 February 2000, of the 868 staff members employed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, 50 are French nationals. Ten of them work in the Office of the Prosecutor and 40 in Chambers and the Registry.
President Chirac’s visit came a week after the French Assemblée Nationale passed the bill authorising ratification of the Rome Convention of July 1998 setting up the International Criminal Court.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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