Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Sebastiano Cardi, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Dibattito in Consiglio di Sicurezza sul Tribunale penale internazionale per l’ex-Jugoslavia e sul Meccanismo per il Tribunale Penale Internazionale —
I would like to thank the Presidents of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), judge Agius, and of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), judge Meron, as well as Prosecutor Brammertz for their briefings today in this chamber.
As far as the ICTY is concerned we welcome the fact that work is proceeding according to the plans to ensure completion by the end of 2017. We commend the President and the entire work force of ICTY for these efforts.
As far as the Mechanism is concerned we are pleased to see that it is up and running, and functioning effectively. Under the leadership of President Meron many important steps have been taken to ensure the effective handling of the wide range of crucial functions the Mechanism has to deal with. We are ready to support the Mechanism. We are also confident that the remaining tasks in the area of search for the fugitives, relating to the Rwandan cases, and all prosecutions and other proceedings regarding both ICTR and ICTY are in safe hands with Prosecutor Brammertz at the helm.
I agree with Judge Carrel Agius that We have a collective responsibility to keep building on the legacy of the two ad hoc Tribunals, working with the MICT as well as with other international criminal courts and tribunals, including the International Criminal Court.
The Council as a whole contributed to establish the age of accountability and must be coherent in upholding its main principles. In face of the many challenges we are faced in order to keep this commitment. Also in my capacity as Vice President of the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC, I would like to make three additional comments of a general nature.
The first point is on the primary responsibility of states to ensure that justice for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide is done in accordance with international standards. The international community must provide necessary assistance and be ready to step in when domestic jurisdiction are unable or unwilling to do justice. We must never time of underlying this crucial aspect on behalf of the victims of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.
Secondly, cooperation is an essential element of the functioning of international criminal tribunals. These organs otherwise are giants without arms and legs. States must assist the tribunals by lending them their enforcement powers. We note that lack of cooperation is still an issue of concern at ICTY and MICT – this is not a positive signal; the so-called completion strategy is based on the idea that there must be swift cooperation with tribunals and a commitment to the fight against impunity. The fight against does not finish with the closing of the ad hoc tribunals.
Thirdly – and I come to my final point – the Council should assume full ownership of the work done by these subsidiary organs established in the 1990s and should incorporate their lessons into its activities. Together with the Secretariat we need to find ways to have these issues featured more systematically and analyzed more in depth. Accountability must become part of the United Nations’ broader prevention strategy. There is virtually no situation of which the Council is seized that does not require attention for accountability: from Syria to Yemen, from Iraq to South Sudan, from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Central African Republic.
We might have different views, but precisely for this reason we should be able to find a forum where we can discuss about these different views thoroughly, and consider all aspects of justice more systematically. We must not shy away from discussing concerns until we find viable solutions.
Ambassador Rosselli of Uruguay, together with his team, have done and are doing an excellent job in steering the work of the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals; I would like to thank him for that and support his call for action. The future should be about continuing this job with a stronger and broader collective engagement with these issues. As long as crimes continue to be committed – and there is abundant evidence that they do continue to be committed – the Council must consider situations including from the angle of accountability and, on the basis of the work done by the ICTY and ICTR, and now the MICT, redouble efforts to be united in the fight against impunity.