Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan, Permanent Representative of Pakistan, during the Debate of the Security Council on ICTR and ICTY, New York (12 June 2013)

Mr. President

I thank Judge Meron, Judge Joensen, Prosecutor Brammertz and Prosecutor Jallow for their reports.

Pakistan fully supports the important work of the two tribunals, as they contribute to the procedural and evidentiary international criminal law. Media spotlight and scrutiny on their work has been sharp, but the tribunals have demonstrated composure, solemnity and impartiality in conducting trial and appeal proceedings, and in passing judgments.

During the last six months, the ICTR has completed its substantive work at the trial level with respect to all 93 accused; and it has concluded trial and appeals judgment. The transition from the ICTR to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals appears to be on track.

We are glad to note that the Arusha branch of the Mechanism is operational and that it provides active support and protection to witnesses. The Mechanism’s monitoring of cases referred to the national jurisdictions is important. Its work on enforcement of sentences is vital for smooth transition from the Tribunal to the Mechanism. We are confident that the Mechanism would continue to focus on State cooperation for the arrest of remaining nine fugitives.

The ICTY too has concluded proceedings against 136 indicted individuals out of 161. We are hopeful that the Tribunal would conclude all trials during 2013 except for the three late-arrested accused.

We appreciate the measures taken by the ICTY to implement the completion strategy and to pursue its procedural reforms. Concrete steps have been taken to commence the work of The Hague branch of the Mechanism next month.

In the final phase of their work, the Tribunals face challenges in the preparation of archives, assignment of work to judges, and staff management. Adequate resources should be provided to the Tribunals to do their job. The lack of experienced staff could cause additional delays. Therefore, it is logical to consider retention incentives on a case by case basis.

While there are no outstanding fugitives under the jurisdiction of ICTY after the arrest of Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic, there are individuals indicted by the ICTR who still remain at large. We hope that with the cooperation and efforts of relevant Member States, the remaining fugitives would be held accountable.

We support the efforts of the ICTR President and Registrar to find hosts for the relocation of individuals who have either been acquitted or have served their sentences. We call upon States which are in a position to do so to positively respond to the Tribunals’ request. Relocation of acquitted and released persons to third States would give them an opportunity to restart their lives and strengthen the rule of law.

Mr. President

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the ICTY’s establishment. It is essential to preserve the legacy of both tribunals because of their contribution to international criminal law. The work of preparing archives of the ICTR must be completed according to its approved records retention schedule.

The lasting legacy of these tribunals would be to build national capacities for accountability to end impunity.

Mr. President

We hope the tribunals would also pave the way for the process of reconciliation and lasting peace in the Balkans and the Great Lakes region. The tribunals’ contribution to jurisprudence and precedents in international criminal law is important. So is the reconstruction of a sense of justice that would help affected societies move beyond the events of the 1990s to closure and healing.

I thank you