Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan, Permanent Representative of Pakistan, during the Debate of the Security Council on ICTR and ICTY, New York (5 December 2012)

Mr. President,

I join others in thanking Judge Meron of the International Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, Judge Joensen of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Prosecutor Serge Brammertz and Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow for their comprehensive statements. Our thanks also to Ambassador Rosenthal and his delegation for ably guiding the Working Group.

Pakistan commends and supports the important work of the two Tribunals to deliver justice and end impunity. During their proceedings, the tribunals have developed a comprehensive corpus of precedents in international criminal law. We welcome their contribution.

Two requests have been made to the Council. Judge Joenson has requested extension of the terms of office of five permanent judges for meeting the goals of the ICTR’s completion strategy - completion of all appeals by the end of 2014. And Judge Meron has requested extension of terms of office of ICTY judges. We are constructively engaged with the Working Group to consider these requests and to decide upon an appropriate duration of the extension of judges.

There has been progress in the completion strategies of the ICTR and ICTY during the period covered by the latest reports of the Presidents and Prosecutors of the two Tribunals. In the last six months, the Tribunals continued to engage in trial proceedings, appeal proceedings, drafting judgments, and referring cases to domestic jurisdictions.

The Tribunals also continued to contribute to procedural and evidentiary international criminal law in a professional manner ; and implement various reforms to improve drafting of judgments, translation, outreach, and preservation of archives. The Tribunals’ initiatives on assistance and support to victims, as well as legacy and capacity building projects are steps in the right direction.

Mr. President,

The Tribunals have made efforts to transfer their functions to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. We are glad to know that the necessary arrangements are almost complete, as ICTR transfers records and archives, as well as prosecutorial tasks to the Mechanism.

We hope that the ICTY would complete its preparation for the transfer of other functions to the Residual Mechanism on 1st July 2013 in accordance with the Security Council resolution 1966.

The Tribunals need to show commitment to the timely conclusion of their proceedings and ensure full compliance with the requirements of due process. We recognize difficulties in the assignment of work to judges, and staff management, in the process of winding down the work of the Tribunals. The recruitment of workers and retention of staff with institutional memory of cases pose major challenges to the work of Tribunals in the completion process.

Mr. President,

Overtime, decisions of the Tribunals have produced a body of jurisprudence that would influence the fight against impunity and shape the future of global justice. It is therefore important to preserve the legacy of the Tribunals because of their contribution to the fields of international humanitarian law and legal doctrine.

I thank you, Mr. President.