President Meron’s address before the United Nations General Assembly
President Theodor Meron yesterday presented the Tribunal’s twenty-first annual report to the UN General Assembly. President Meron reported on the Tribunal’s steady progress in completing its last remaining cases, noting that fewer than ten trials and appeals remain unfinished, and praising the hard work of Judges and staff of the Tribunal.
Describing progress in completing judicial proceedings, the President noted that less than ten cases remain unfinished, and that by the end of the year the Tribunal will have delivered three appeal judgements. He observed that according to current forecasts, by the end of 2015 only one trial and one appeal will still be ongoing, in the Mladić and Prlić et al. cases.
The President underscored that the Tribunal is focused on downsizing the institution as rapidly as possible while also ensuring that judicial work continues to reflect the highest international standards. In this regard, the President observed that Judges and staff of the Tribunal are especially grateful to the Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) for its flexibility in accepting certain departures from standard UN regulations, thus facilitating retention and recruitment of staff members. The President expressed his hope that OHRM would continue to be flexible with respect to any future requests.
The President explained that the Tribunal continues to face certain challenges, and that given the complexity of the cases being addressed, some delays and setbacks are inevitable. He observed that a particular challenge facing the Tribunal is preserving staff morale, and noted that the international community’s support for the Tribunal is an inspiration to staff members, helping them keep their focus on completing the last trials and appeals.
President Meron observed that despite the challenges it continues to face, the Tribunal has “outpaced the expectations of even the most optimistic observers” serving as “a testament to the international community’s dedication to the rule of law, and a symbol of Member States’ common commitment to ending impunity.”