(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
First of a series of conferences on ICTY’s legacy concludes in Sarajevo
The first of three conferences on the Tribunal’s legacy concluded today in Sarajevo, bringing together over 180 international and national stakeholders who engaged in a wider discussion on the legacy the ICTY will leave behind in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
In his opening remarks, Judge Carmel Agius, Vice-President of the ICTY, said: “Looking around this room, based on the information I have received, I see a remarkable collection of people from all walks of life and from all corners of Bosnia and Herzegovina. You may disagree on many things, there is however one thing that unites you all: your deep commitment to justice and your keen anticipation that the work of this unique institution, the ICTY, will continue to be a motor for change in Bosnia and Herzegovina on its path of recovery.”
Ahead of the completion of the Tribunal’s mandate, the conference facilitated an intensive debate about the ICTY’s role in dealing with the past in the region. Four dynamic panels enabled participants at the Sarajevo conference to constructively address the ICTY’s achievements to date, as well as discuss the Tribunal’s contribution to transitional justice in BiH. Participants were encouraged to share their thoughts on what the Tribunal’s legacy should be and how it should be reinforced.
Addressing the participants, Prof. dr. Alija Behmen, the Mayor of Sarajevo said: “I wish to take this opportunity to reaffirm the honest dedication of the people of Sarajevo to contribute to the Tribunal’s legacy. This conference provides us with a unique opportunity to share our thoughts on how the Tribunal’s legacy should be strengthened.”
The themes addressed by the panels ranged from the impact of the Tribunal’s legacy on the reconciliation process, to the future responsibility of local accountability mechanisms and the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) in preserving the Tribunal’s legacy, and the importance of regional access to the Tribunal’s archives.
The participants included representatives from the Tribunal, officials from national judiciaries, experts on transitional justice issues, journalists, activists, local politicians, NGO representatives, academics and artists from across BiH. Selected moderators and panellists were not only leaders in their respective fields but also possessed acute knowledge of local priorities.
Sarajevo’s conference will be followed by a second conference in Zagreb on Thursday, 8 November. The last conference will be held in Belgrade on Thursday, 22 November.
The three conferences are organised by the ICTY Outreach Programme and made possible though the generous support of the European Union and the Governments of The Netherlands and Switzerland.
The impetus behind these conferences stems from two ICTY legacy conferences held in February 2010 and November 2011 in The Hague, at the initiative of former President, Judge Patrick L. Robinson. Participants at these conferences underscored the pressing need for discussions to be held in the former Yugoslavia concerning the Tribunal’s achievements and its legacy in the region.
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at jelacic [at] un.org, +31 (0)70 512 5580, +31 (0)65 357 8006.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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