UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits the ICTY, praises Tribunal's work
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, today visited the Tribunal as part of his brief tour of international judicial institutions based in The Hague.
The Secretary-General met with the Tribunal's President, Fausto Pocar, and the Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte. In addition, Ban Ki-moon met a number of ICTY judges and briefly addressed the staff of the Tribunal.
During his meeting with President Pocar, the Secretary-General was briefed on the Tribunal's completion strategy and the increasing efforts on the part of the Judges to conclude trials as expeditiously as possible. The issue of outstanding fugitives was raised, their impact upon the orderly completion of the Tribunal's work and the action to be taken should they not be arrested in the near future. President Pocar emphasized the success of the Tribunal so far in concluding over 100 cases and currently holding seven trials simultaneously.
The Secretary-General thanked Prosecutor Del Ponte for her efforts since 1999 and the overall work of her Office. The Secretary-General fully agreed with the Prosecutor that it is imperative for the remaining fugitives, and especially Mladić and Karad¾ić, to be transferred to the Tribunal without delay so that the ICTY may successfully fulfill its mandate.
In a short address to the media, the UN Secretary-General praised the Tribunal's work and expressed his 'deepest appreciation and respect for what the judges and prosecutors have been doing and will be doing to have the rule of law principle firmly established' He further noted that: 'It is crucially important for international peace and security that the rule of law principle is firmly established and that an end to impunity to war criminals is brought'.
The Secretary-General also urged Ratko Mladić and Radovan Karad¾ić to appear before the Tribunal for trial. He stated that this would be 'for the interest and the benefit of themselves as well as for the benefit of international peace and security.' He also expressed his solidarity with the Tribunal stating that: 'I know that there is a sense of frustration for not being able to complete what ICTY is mandated to do because of non-cooperation, non-availability of those people indicted" And added that: This is a matter to be closely coordinated and consulted with the members of the Security Council'.
The Secretary-General concluded by expressing his own personal commitment to the work of the Tribunal stating that: 'I stand firmly behind the very noble and important work done by ICTY and I will continue to cooperate with it'.