It is a great honour and a challenge for me to have been appointed Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. I am impressed by the many achievements of this institution since its establishment in 1993. Thanks to the leadership of the previous prosecutors, and most recently Ms. Carla Del Ponte, I inherit a fully functional Office staffed with
highly dedicated and capable individuals.
Continuity in the work of the Office of the Prosecutor is of utmost importance and I intend to provide the leadership and direction necessary to successfully fulfil our mandate.
With 26 individuals on trial, nine on appeal and 11 awaiting trial, this is a busy period for the ICTY. A lot of work remains to be done. Therefore, my first priority will be to ensure the successful conduct of all current and pending criminal proceedings.
Obtaining the arrest and transfer to the Tribunal of the four remaining fugitives, particularly Ratko Mladić and Radovan Karadžić, also remains an absolute priority. The Office of the Prosecutor will therefore continue to rely on the crucial support and assistance of States in the former Yugoslavia and the international community to finally bring Ratko Mladić, Radovan
Karadžić, Goran Hadžić and Stojan Župljanin to justice. In the coming weeks, I plan to discuss issues related to cooperation with relevant authorities in the former Yugoslavia, as well as representatives of other States and international organisations, including those of the European Union.
The cooperation between this Office and the prosecution authorities in the former Yugoslavia remains crucial to the continued prosecution of war crimes in the region. This Office will continue its ongoing cooperation with local war crimes prosecutors and judicial authorities by transferring remaining investigation files and sharing accumulated information and
We are grateful for the support of United Nations member states to the work of this institution and for their approval of the ICTY budget for 2008 and 2009. As ever, we will continue to rely and call on the critical support of the international community and the NGOs since the Tribunal's successful implementation of its Completion Strategy fully depends on it.
I am fully committed to building upon the Tribunal's many achievements. We owe this to the victims of the crimes committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia.