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President of the Tribunal meets with American Diplomatic Delegation

Press Release PRESIDENT

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

The Hague, 6 March 2002

President of the Tribunal meets with American Diplomatic Delegation

The American Ambassador-at-large for War Crimes and the United States Ambassadors serving in The Hague, Belgrade, Sarajevo and Zagreb visited the Tribunal today, 6 March 2002.

The delegation observed the Milosevic trial before meeting with the President of the Tribunal, Judge Claude Jorda, and the Deputy Registrar, Mr. Bruno Cathala. At the meeting, the President responded to the Ambassadors’ questions and explained to them, in particular, the directions the Tribunal has set in order to wind down its work in a co-ordinated fashion.

In this respect, the President recalled that since his speeches to the United Nations General Assembly on 26 November 2001 and to the Security Council the following day, he had set out the overall strategy he intended to implement with the Prosecutor in order to wind down the Tribunal’s work, and had fixed a relatively precise deadline of 2007-2008. As he did before the Security Council, the President reiterated the pre-requisites for duly carrying through the "completion strategy" of the Tribunal’s mandate, namely, the need for unwavering international co-operation in arresting the accused and handing over evidence, the implementation of all the reforms required for holding fair and expeditious trials and the reorientation of the Tribunal’s penal policy towards prosecuting and trying a limited number of accused, that is, the high-ranking political and military leaders.

The President emphasised that for the strategy to be successful the subordinates who carried out the orders must be tried by the courts of the former Yugoslavia. He further noted that the process of holding trials away from the Tribunal could take place only if it was guaranteed that the domestic courts would have all the resources required to take on the mission and, above all, that they would respect the principles governing humanitarian law and the protection of human rights.

The President was pleased by the United States’ support for the reforms undertaken by the Tribunal and expressed his firm belief that its support would again be demonstrated this week when the Fifth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly votes on the budget.

The President welcomed the visit which demonstrates the interest of the United States in the Tribunal’s work and recalled that the Tribunal had to be able to count on the support of all the States of the International Community in order to fulfil its mission within the projected time-frame.



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