Statement of Germany in the UNGA78 6th Committee relating to the “International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals”, 18 October 2023.

18.10.2023 - Speech

The Statement was delivered by Michael Hasenau, Legal Adviser.

Germany aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

First, we would like to thank President Graciela Gatti Santana for her briefing today and for the tenth annual report of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. Since its establishment, the Mechanism has made remarkable progress in our common fight against impunity. We express our great satisfaction that all proceedings related to core crimes brought before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) were concluded during the reporting period.

With the activities of the Mechanism being further consolidated and more proceedings coming to a close, it is important to note that crucial functions of the Mechanism, particularly in the form of assisting national jurisdictions and monitoring of cases referred to national jurisdictions will continue. Currently four prison sentences imposed by the ICTY are being enforced under German jurisdiction. Germany uses this occasion to emphasize its willingness to continue to provide such enforcement assistance in the future.

Germany will continue to support the Mechanism, both politically and financially, in fulfilling its mandate and remaining tasks. Germany endorses the priorities of Prosecutor Serge Brammertz being, first, the expeditious completion of trials and appeals, second, locating and arresting the remaining fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and third, assisting national jurisdictions in prosecuting international crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

In May of this year, we witnessed the importance of continued cooperation among states with regard to the apprehension of fugitives still at large when Fulgence Kayishema was successfully arrested in South Africa. We urge all States, particularly those States where fugitives of international justice are suspected of being at large, to cooperate fully with the Mechanism to bring an end to impunity.

Protecting the remarkable legacy of international tribunals and accountability mechanisms must be our goal, especially in a time where current events remind us of the importance of accountability for crimes committed in particular during armed conflict. Germany would like to take this opportunity to reiterate its unwavering support for international criminal justice in general and for the Mechanism in particular.

Thank you.

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