Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Inigo Lambertini, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Dibattito in Consiglio di Sicurezza sul Tribunale Penale Internazionale per l’ex Jugoslavia (ICTY) e sul Meccanismo Residuale dei Tribunali Penali Internazionali (MICT) —
at the outset allow me in the name of Ambassador Cardi my personal and all the Italian delegation to thank you for your kind words on our month of presidency, we thank the Japanese delegation and all the other delegations of the Council for their help, their assistance and the professionalism in assuring the results of our presidency. And of course all the best to the Japanese presidency.
Ambassador Cardi is not here even if he wanted to be here because he is following very close the possible election of the Italian candidate to ICC (International Criminal Court), the elections are taking place now.
I want to stress this because this is another proof of the importance my country gives to the International Court of Justice, international accountability and in general all we are talking on this meeting.
I would like to thank the Presidents of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), judge Carmel Agius, and of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), judge Theodor Meron, as well as Prosecutor Serge Brammertz for the reports of the two organs and for their briefings.
As far as the ICTY is concerned we welcome the successful completion of 24 years of work and the enormous efforts that were made to ensure completion by the end of 2017 as requested. We highly commend the President and the entire staff of ICTY for this final push in their work.
We also take this occasion to thank and recognize the invaluable work of all those that have contributed to nearly 25 years of activities of the Tribunal. The ICTY through its seminal and rich case law has given an enormous contribution to the very creation of international criminal law and international criminal justice.
As far as the Mechanism is concerned we are pleased to see it function effectively and efficiently with very dynamic pace and its innovative organizational model. Under the leadership of President Meron the Mechanism is discharging a broad range of perhaps residual, yet crucial, functions, including trial, appeal and review proceedings, as well as those for contempt.
We are confident that the search for the fugitives, relating to the Rwandan cases, and the handling all prosecutions and other proceedings regarding both ICTR and ICTY are in safe hands. It is up to States to continue to provide the required support and as far as Italy is concerned, even if our term on the Council is coming to an end, we remain ready to support the Mechanism in all aspects of its ongoing work and encourage other States to do the same.
As mentioned by Italy on previous occasions, 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, which is also part of this legacy.
Clearly the primary responsibility to ensure that justice is done for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide rests on States. It is up to domestic authorities to prevent, to stop and to punish international crimes. And while the international community must be ready to provide all the necessary assistance, it should also be ready to step in when domestic jurisdictions are unable or unwilling to do justice in accordance with international standards.
Lack of cooperation has often been an issue of concern at ICTY and MICT. A true commitment to the fight against impunity, to justice and the rule of law requires full cooperation and also the adoption of appropriate measures at national level. The fight against impunity does not finish with the closing of the ad hoc tribunals; it will continue through the work that will be undertaken by domestic authorities as well as regional and international bodies both at judicial but also at diplomatic and political level.
Finally, let me reaffirm another leitmotiv of our presence in the Council, the Security Council which has been at the origins of the establishment of the “age of accountability” for international crimes, should assume full ownership of the work done by the ad hoc Tribunals and, together with the Secretariat, should continue to promote justice and accountability as integral part of the broader United Nations prevention strategy. One way to do more is would be to have a stronger and broader collective engagement with accountability issues.
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 and I commend him for that. We also support the proposal that the Council marks in a significant way the closing of ICTY.
In conclusion, Mr President, Italy – as you know – would like to see the subject matter of the Informal Working Group expanded because we think it would be a good idea to enable the Council members to deepen their common understanding and increase their exchanges on these issues.
It is a fact that atrocity crimes continue to be committed and – even if the Council is unable to come to an agreement as to what reaction it should have when facing such crimes – it should at least give itself the instruments to consider situations from the angle of accountability and make extra efforts to try to be united in the fight against impunity. We owe it to the thousands of victims of international crimes.