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President Robinson’s address before the United Nations General Assembly

Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 11 November 2011

President Robinson’s address before the United Nations General Assembly


ICTY President Judge Patrick Robinson

President Patrick Robinson today presented the Tribunal’s eighteenth annual report to the UN General Assembly. The President took this opportunity to highlight the progress made since his last address in October 2010 and to reiterate his call to Member States to support the Tribunal’s completion of its work in an expeditious and fair manner. The President renewed his plea for the international community to support the Tribunal in retaining its staff and in the establishment of a victims’ trust fund.

The President first presented the Member States with an overview on the progress made in ongoing cases, highlighting that proceedings have been concluded against 126 of the 161 persons indicted by the Tribunal.

He then turned to the recent arrests of the two remaining fugitives, Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić, saying that “[w]ith the trial of the last two fugitives, all persons indicted by the Prosecutor will face the judicial process, and the Tribunal will be removing yet another brick in the wall of impunity.”

The President reassured Member States that the Tribunal has continued to take all possible measures to expedite its trials, without sacrificing due process, by continually introducing a variety of reforms in order to improve its work.

However, the President again raised the alarming rate at which highly-qualified and essential staff are leaving for more secure employment elsewhere, a matter of great concern to the Tribunal. He renewed his plea for the international community to exercise foresight and assist the Tribunal in retaining and replacing its staff.

The loss of the Tribunal’s experienced staff has significantly impacted proceedings, placed an onerous burden on the Tribunal’s remaining staff, and will place a much heavier financial burden on the international community in the long run,” he stressed.

Raising the proposal of a victims’ trust fund, the President informed Member States of the initiatives which the Tribunal has taken to provide assistance and support to victims, highlighting that the International Organisation for Migration had secured funding to carry out a comprehensive assessment study aimed at providing guidance to the Tribunal on appropriate and feasible victim assistance measures and possible means of financing. 

The President called upon Member States to lend their support to the establishment of such a trust fund. “The Tribunal cannot, through the rendering of its Judgements alone, bring peace and reconciliation to the region. Other remedies must complement the criminal trials if lasting peace is to be achieved, and one such remedy should be adequate assistance to the victims for their suffering,” said the President.

In closing, President Robinson called upon all Member States of the General Assembly to assist the Tribunal in its commitment to complete its work in both an expeditious and fair manner.

 “The Tribunal represents the aspirations of the international community to ensure that justice prevails over impunity, and this is something in which we all have a stake. It is for these reasons that the work of the Tribunal, which has been entrusted to us, is not only our work, but in fact the work of everyone here today,” he concluded.


The full text of the President's speech can be found on the Tribunal’s website:

In English

In French

All statements and speeches of the ICTY’s Principals

The annual report can be found on the Tribunal’s website:

In English

In French

All annual reports

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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