Stalni predstavnik RH pri Ujedinjenim narodima, veleposlanik Vladimir Drobnjak, održao je govor tijekom rasprave Vijeća sigurnosti UN-a o periodičnom izvješću predsjednika Međunarodnog kaznenog suda za bivšu Jugoslaviju i Međunarodnog kaznenog suda za Ruandu, koje uključuje i izvješća glavnih tužite
New York, 05. prosinca 2013.
At the outset, please allow me to extend my sincere congratulations to your Excellency on the occasion of assuming the presidency of the Security Council for the month of December.
I would like to start by welcoming honorable Presidents of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Judges Meron and Joensen, and distinguished Prosecutors Brammertz and Jallow and commending their important work.
We appreciate comprehensive reports on the work of the Tribunals, the status of the cases before them, as well as measures undertaken in the implementation of the Completion Strategy in the reporting period. These documents add to the substantive volume of work and legacy of the ICTY and ICTR respectively.
More than 20 years after the establishment of the ICTY it is possible to make a comprehensive assessment of its activities and overall achievements. There is also an opportunity to learn important lessons and apply this significant empirical knowledge for the sake of further development of the international criminal justice.
In our mind, the Tribunals (ICTY and ICTR), their establishment and their work, have profoundly changed the landscape of international criminal justice and paved the way for the International Criminal Court.
Croatia advocated for the establishment of the ICTY from the very beginning. We believed then as we do believe today that it is of paramount importance to put an end to the culture of impunity, regardless of the causes and nature of given conflict within which the crimes against humanity were committed.
Croatia welcomes the results achieved by the ICTY to date. However, the work of the Tribunal is not over yet – some of those most responsible for the carnage, deaths and suffering are still waiting for the verdict to be brought upon them.
We note with satisfaction in the ICTY Prosecutor’s Report a precise and entirely positive assessment of Croatia’s cooperation with the Office of the Prosecutor and the ICTY. The brevity of this part of the Report speaks volumes on Croatia’s support and cooperation that leaves not even a smallest room for doubt or second thoughts. And you can rest assured that Croatia will continue to cooperate and render its full support to the Tribunal.
This is the first time that Croatia is participating in the Security Council’s debate on the ICTY as European Union Member State. Our membership has been achieved, among many other accomplishments, through the full cooperation with the ICTY and important reforms in Croatia’s judicial sector – including the establishment of specialized war-crimes chambers of selected courts.
Croatia has been the first country in the history of the EU enlargement that had to meet numerous benchmarks in the negotiating Chapter Judiciary and Fundamental Rights (cooperation with the ICTY and processing war crimes in domestic courts being important part of them). And I am proud to say that we succeeded with flying colors.
Croatia has on numerous occasions spoke in detail on this subject, praising but sometimes also criticizing the work of the Tribunal, so I will not repeat our well known position. Let me just say that the results achieved and the Tribunal’s far reaching legacy do not and cannot mean that there is no room for the improvement of its work. In this context, what comes to one’s mind are often criticized protracted judicial processes, which in some cases undermined their own purpose.
Late justice is by all means better than no justice at all, but such delays interfered with the expectations of the victims longing for the justice. Equally so, the accused do have the right to trials that are not only fair but also of reasonable duration.
One could also argue that the modifications of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure did not always contribute to the legal security, nor the clarity or simplicity of the procedure. These are lessons learned that we should apply wisely in the future development of the international law.
Enhanced regional cooperation in the area of war crimes and related issues represent one of the most important legacies of the Tribunals. Croatia stands ready to continue mutual cooperation in this area in accordance with the generally accepted principles of international criminal law and with the full respect of relevant national jurisdictions and competences.
It is a hard earned wisdom that there can be no true justice without peace, nor peace without justice. Ultimately, the long term impact left by the work of the Tribunals on the ground, their legacy in the countries concerned, is what really matters in the final analysis. Establishing individual accountability based on the judicially verified facts is a vital tool in the process of reconciliation. However, this process cannot be carried out by the international Tribunals themselves. It can lay the foundation for it, but it is up to the society to bring the process of reconciliation to its end.
Finally, let me conclude by praising once again the important and valuable work of the Tribunals.
Thank you Mr. President.