|(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 31 March 2006
The President of the Tribunal, Judge Fausto Pocar, today attended a donors' conference to fund the needs of Bosnia and Herzegovina's judicial institutions. The conference was organized by the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with the European Commission in Brussels.
Bosnia and Herzegovina's judicial institutions include the War Crimes Chamber, which is mandated to try war crimes cases. The Tribunal was actively involved in establishing the War Crimes Chamber, and has worked in partnership with it in its first year of operation.
In his address to the conference, President Pocar stated that the event provides an important opportunity to recognize the progress that Bosnia and Herzegovina's judicial institutions have made. However, President Pocar stated that important challenges remain, and without the international community's continued support, Bosnia and Herzegovina's judicial institutions will not be
able to fulfill their essential function: entrenching the rule of law. President Pocar emphasized that, "[t]he success of these judicial institutions is critical to stabilization and peace in the region".
The first donors' conference was held in The Hague in 2003 and the international community pledged 15.7 million Euros towards establishing the War Crimes Chamber in the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In August 2003 the UN Security Council passed resolution 1503, in which it called on judiciaries in the region to try cases against low and mid-level war crimes perpetrators, and called on the Tribunal to assist them in this effort.
The Tribunal has transferred two cases for trial to the War Crimes Chamber, as well as evidence and information relating to other cases. The Tribunal has also assisted the War Crimes Chamber with a host of matters including witness protection, court management and security, and has organized training programmes and professional consultations.
The Tribunal remains committed to assisting Bosnia and Herzegovina's judicial institutions, as well as others in the region, to see to it that war crimes perpetrators are brought to justice.