Tribunal President Carmel Agius today concluded a three-day official visit to Zagreb, Croatia. During the visit, President Agius met with the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Davor Ivo Stier, Minister of Justice Ante Šprlje, and President of the Supreme Court Branko Hrvatin. Croatian Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands Andrea Gustović-Ercegovac also participated in the visit.
During the meetings President Agius and Croatian officials discussed a range of topics including in particular the need to intensify regional cooperation in the prosecution of war crimes. 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 by bringing to justice those alleged to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. He stressed the need to do this efficiently as time is running out, and that the current state of cooperation among the countries of the former Yugoslavia must be improved.
The Tribunal’s legacy was another important topic of the meetings. President Agius informed the Croatian President and Prime Minister about the "ICTY Legacy Dialogues" - a series of public events to be held throughout the year, aimed at ensuring that the Tribunal’s legacy continues to be impactful and to contribute to the processes of transitional justice in Croatia and throughout the region after the ICTY closes down.
Further, President Agius recalled the initiative for the establishment of ICTY information centres, pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1966 (2010), which would make the Tribunal’s public records and archives available to the citizens of Croatia and throughout the region. The President invited the Croatian officials to further explore the possibilities for establishing such an information centre in Zagreb. This initiative was very well received by the Croatian leadership, who expressed their interest and support.
This was the first in a series of visits that President Agius will pay to the countries of the former Yugoslavia before the ICTY closes at the end of this year.