Swedish statement at the UN Security Council Debate on IRMCT
National statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Debate on the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), 06 June 2018, New York.
Thank you, Mr President,
I want to thank President Theodor Meron and Prosecutor Serge Brammertz for your useful and informative briefings on the work of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.
As this is the first open briefing on this topic since the closure of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the end of last year, we would also like to, once again, express our sincere appreciation to the ICTY, and its staff, for their invaluable contributions to international criminal justice and the development of international law. We also appreciate the efforts made, both by the ICTY and the Mechanism, to assure a smooth and efficient transition of the functions and services of the Tribunal to the Mechanism.
The Mechanism will continue to fulfil and complete the important work of the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Both tribunals have played a key role in the fight against impunity for the gravest crimes of concern to the international community such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. They were both forerunners to the International Criminal Court, which is the only permanent treaty-based international court in the fight against impunity today. In this regard, we repeat the importance of assuring the universality of the Rome Statute.
In order for the Mechanism to complete its functions and avoid any delays in the implementation of its mandate, it is essential that the Mechanism has the required resources to deliver on the mandate. It is also imperative that its independence and integrity is upheld.
The Mechanism has made important headway since our last briefing in December. The continued development of ongoing cases, including the completion of the case against Vojislav Šešelj, shows the progress of the Mechanism. There has also been significant progress in relation to gender related matters. We welcome the fact that the Registry is now reviewing how policies on the support and protection of victims, and witnesses, can better reflect gender-sensitive and gender appropriate approaches. We also applaud the achievement by the Mechanism of gender parity at the level of professional staff within the organisation, as well as the appointments of focal points, including for gender issues.
We note with satisfaction that the practice of judges exercising their functions remotely has been working well – being described as "efficient and innovative" in the evaluation report by the Office of Internal Oversights Services (OIOS). We also welcome the work to revise the Code of Professional Conduct for the Judges of the Mechanism, which is an important element of assuring judicial accountability. We further note the efforts made towards the transition to a digital archive.
The report of the evaluation carried out by the OIOS made a number of important recommendations for the Mechanism going forward. We are pleased to see that the Mechanism has already begun to implement these recommendations.
If the Mechanism is to succeed in delivering on the mandate we have given it, all member states must cooperate fully and provide full and unequivocal support for its work. In this regard, Sweden is one of the countries that has received convicted individuals for the enforcement of sentences.
We have taken note of the concerns expressed by Rwanda and underscore the importance of continued work to promote communication and cooperation with the government of Rwanda. We welcome the Mechanism's work in assisting national jurisdictions prosecuting international crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda.
We call on Member States to assist the Mechanism in the arrest of the eight fugitives, indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, who remain at large.
Finally, Mr President, I want to express our appreciation to Peru for their able leadership of the Informal Working group on International Tribunals. We look forward to continuing working closely with you going forward.