7 December 2011 - Security Council
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
First of all, I would like to thank the Presidents and the Prosecutors
of the International Criminal Tribunals for their reports.
With respect to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the Tribunal’s President and Prosecutor Jallow have both described the considerable efforts that were made in recent months by the entire staff of the Tribunal in order to complete the trials under way and to preserve evidence under rule 71 bis, in the event that the three high-ranking fugitives — Félicien Kabuga, Protais Mpiranya and Augustin Bizimana — are arrested one day. France appreciates the work accomplished.
The transfer of the Uwinkindi case to Rwanda, if confirmed, will also be an important step forward.Judicial procedures are continuing in France with respect to the Laurent Bucyibaruta and Wenceslas Munyeshyaka cases. We look forward to hosting the Prosecutor in France next week to assess the status of the procedures.
Nine accused, including three who are highranking, remain fugitives. We welcome the efforts of the Prosecutor to find and to arrest those fugitives. We note that the Prosecutor expects increased cooperation from Kenya in the Félicien Kabuga case.
More disturbing, the Prosecutor also mentioned the presence of Protais Mpiranya in Zimbabwe. That is a major concern. Everyone’s cooperation with the ICTR is required in accordance with Security Council resolutions. Undoubtedly, we will find a way to remind
every one of their obligations.
Lastly, the ideas presented by Judge Khan with regard to ensuring the Tribunal’s legacy warrant our full attention.
With respect to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), France welcomes the progress that has been made, as no fugitives remain at large following the arrest of Goran Hadžić, on 20 July. That is a crucial milestone in the work of the Tribunal and sends an important message to all of those who, even today, continue to attempt to obtain power or remain in power by planning and ordering attacks against civilians. It also sends a message to all of those who are being sought under an international criminal warrant for the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity or the crime of genocide who believe that they can rely on the Council’s inaction or lassitude to evade justice. It is important that the Council maintain its determination in that regard.
Given the complexity of the cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, it is understandable, as the Tribunal’s President and Prosecutor have explained, that the proceedings require time. There is therefore a need to ensure that the Tribunal has all of the means necessary to work effectively, and in particular that it can address the challenge of staff retention.
We listened attentively to the sensible proposals of Judge Meron, whom we commend on assuming his new functions. The proposals, which Judge Khan supports, are important as they are specific and easy to implement, as is the case with the recommendation on
the recruitment of interns. We are ready to ensure follow-up under the leadership of the Chair of the Informal Working Group on international Tribunals, the Ambassador of Portugal.
With respect to cooperation with the ICTY, a question that arose when we listened to the Prosecutor’s report concerned the reasons as to why the arrest of fugitives in Serbia has taken such a long time. Another question concerns the escape of a criminal who was imprisoned in Foča, and who has not yet been caught.
Lastly, generally speaking, the lack of cooperation of States in the region in tracking and prosecuting mid-level criminals is disturbing.
We must stress that for the European Union, cooperation with the ICTY and regional cooperation have always been, and will remain, important considerations.
In its resolution 1966 (2010), adopted in December 2010, the Security Council set a timeline for the completion of the work of the two Tribunals and established the Residual Mechanism to complete the proceedings. We will soon elect the judges for the Residual Mechanism. We would like to thank the representatives of the Tribunals as well as the Office of Legal Affairs of the Secretariat for their efforts made in order to respect the timeline and to ensure the effective operation of the Residual Mechanism.
Thank you, Mr. President.