|(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 22 September 2005
The Victims and Witness Section of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia held its fifth "Network Development Conference" in Sarajevo from 20 to 22 September 2005.
The focus of the conference was to enable representatives from war crimes courts from across the former Yugoslavia to meet healthcare professionals to ensure that they were fully informed about the history, development, current standing and future challenges for war crimes trials in their own and other states or provinces. It also helped representatives from the various legal
entities to hear about the needs and issues facing victims and witnesses from each state or province.
Participants in the conference included a mix of judges, prosecutors, spokespersons and other legal professionals from Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo and elsewhere in Serbia and Montenegro. Other participants involved were psychologists and psychiatrists from leading institutions, as well as human rights representatives and welfare workers.
The first day of the conference gave participants an opportunity to learn about the work of the different war crimes trials during three panels as listed below:
General Panel, an overview of the history and development of war crimes proceedings Chambers Panel, a focus on the role, status and challenges for the Judiciary Prosecutors Panel, a focus on the role, status and challenges for the Prosecution
Before each of the panel's discussions, there were presentations from health professionals on victim and witness issues. The day concluded with two presentations on newly developing Witness Unit Plans in Croatia and in Serbia and Montenegro.
The second and third days of the conference were in workshop format. The hope was that during the workshops, a structure for each state or province would be developed to advance cooperation between health and welfare services and the legal entities.
Similar conferences have been held with experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The series of conferences is funded by the European Commission.