Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC debate on ICTY/ICTR

Mr. President,

We would like to commend the steady progress the ICTY and the MICT have made since December 2016 in litigating trials and appeals, reforming and strengthening efforts to locate and arrest the remaining ICTR fugitives, assisting national jurisdictions prosecuting international crimes committed in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

Unfortunately both institutions are experiencing problems and challenges in performing their mandates. There is a challenge of staff attrition along with an added pressure to meet deadlines in anticipation of the planned closure of the ICTY and to ensure a smooth handover of remaining issues to the Mechanism.

Though they are natural and hardly avoidable under the circumstances, we hope that they would not affect the operational capabilities of both institutions at this important stage of their work.

However there are challenges of quite a different nature. The need of states’ cooperation with international criminal courts and tribunals is being emphasized constantly, including in the unanimously adopted resolution 2329. That is why we are concerned that States’ non-compliance with tribunals’ orders remains an outstanding issue, which impedes their efficient work.

Thus, we express particular concern over Serbia’s defiance of the Tribunal’s arrest warrants and orders to surrender three indictees to the Tribunal’s custody. We call upon Serbia to comply with its obligations under Article 29 of the ICTY Statute and respective Security Council resolutions to render all necessary assistance to the Tribunal.

It is of utmost importance for international justice and crime prevention that all cases before the Tribunal are completed by the time when its activities are concluded. It is imperative that a strong message is sent that no one can avoid accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian law.

In this respect, we welcome Interpol’s issuance this March of Red Notices in relation to pending warrants.

Mr. President

We urge all States to cooperate with the ICTY and the Mechanism and to respect their mandates in line with obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions. Courts cannot deliver justice by themselves. The international community must be consolidated in its support of the criminal tribunals’ work to ensure the right to universal justice to all victims of mass atrocities.

Let me touch upon another technical but critical part of this stage of Tribunal’s liquidation-related activities. We have seen a strong commitment to a timely and efficient accomplishment of this task. We are satisfied with the downsizing process, transfer of assets and contracts to the Mechanism as well as records and archives of the Tribunal.

On the Mechanism. My delegation commends its judicial activities and issuance of more than 150 decisions and orders during the reporting period, including through the remote procedure. We also support continuing efforts in reducing the costs and streamlining the internal working methods and processes to ensure efficient and transparent work in the MICT.

To conclude, Mr. President, we would like to hail successful events held as part of the ICTY Legacy Dialogues series and the launch of an enhanced version of the MICT website. Knowledge and expertise of international criminal tribunals should be accessible to a wider public, thus contributing to efforts to maintain international peace and to deliver justice thought the world.

I thank you, Mr. President.