I would like to thank Judge Agius, and Prosecutor Brammertz, for their thorough report to the Security Council, and for today’s briefing. Let me at the outset reaffirm Norway’s strong support to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, which diligently implements the important mandate given to it by this Council.
Let me also stress that Security Council decisions must be adhered to. Non-cooperation undermines the Mechanism, it undermines this Council, and it undermines international law.
The fight against impunity for the most serious crimes is a central element of Norway’s foreign policy. We have been a staunch supporter of the ICTY and the ICTR since their establishment in the early 90s. And now, the residual mechanism. Norway commends the Mechanism’s high level of activity during the reporting period. We note significant judicial activities, as well as a series of visits and meetings, to advance the cases it is working on.
This includes the delivery of judgements in the Stanišić and Simatović re-trial and contempt case of Nzabonimpa et al. We take note that both cases are now in the appeals phase.
Furthermore, we note that pre-trial preparations have been advancing in the case against Kabuga. We do however regret the lack of progress in the Jojić and Radeta case, and once again strongly urge Serbia to co-operate fully with the Mechanism. Its silence- at the very least- sends the world community the wrong message more than two decades after the Balkan wars.
The Mechanism is of course dependent on the cooperation of Member States in order to fulfil the mandate this Council has provided: to ensure accountability, and justice for the victims. And we urge Member States to fulfill their obligations in this regard.
As the successor of two tribunals, for Yugoslavia, and for Rwanda. It is crucial that the Mechanism carries out, and eventually completes, the work related to both situations.
We note your announcement Mr Agius. And applaud that there seems to be a good solution for the long-lasting difficult situation of the persons who have been in a safe house in Arusha. We also commend Niger’s very helpful role in this arrangement.
Norway also greatly appreciates the Office of the Prosecutor’s work to account for the remaining fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. We are however concerned by the reported lack of timely and effective cooperation from Member States, preventing successful results. We again urge all States to fully cooperate with the Mechanism, and arrest and surrender all remaining fugitives. The Council should also assume its responsibility by examining every possible measure to facilitate the arrest and surrender of those wanted by the Mechanism.
In closing, let me thank Judge Theodor Meron, who recently stepped down, for his long and committed service to the Mechanism, and to Tribunals before that. I also want to convey, via you President Agius, a welcome to Judge Fatimata Sanou Touré of Burkina Faso to the roster of judges.