Mr. Kio Amieyeofori
Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations
New York, NY
6th June, 2011
I join others in thanking the Presidents and Prosecutors of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for their very useful briefings on the work of the Tribunals.
Nigeria welcomes the further progress made by the ICTY and the ICTR in implementing their completion strategies during the past six months. We note with satisfaction the measures taken by the Tribunals to expedite the conduct of their proceedings, including reforms, while ensuring compliance with due process standards. We believe that more tangible steps towards enhancing the current staffing levels in both the ICTY and the ICTR will help to reinforce those improvements. We recognize that resolutions 1954 (2010) and 1955 (2010) call upon the Secretariat and other relevant United Nations bodies to continue to work with the Registrars of the Tribunals to find practical solutions to address the issue. We therefore urge that intensified efforts be undertaken to find more pragmatic measures to address this issue more decisively. That becomes more critical as both Tribunals approach the completion of their work.
Nigeria underscores the importance of sustained and close cooperation between Member States and the Tribunals in enabling them to achieve their set goals. Those goals include the arrest of fugitives, the preparation of referrals to national jurisdictions, the relocation of acquitted persons and assistance to national prosecution authorities.
It is encouraging that both Tribunals have continued to assist in strengthening the capacity of States to try alleged violators of international humanitarian law in their own courts. Those efforts are helpful in building the legacy of the Tribunals and the institutions of international humanitarian law.
The Tribunals’ continued efforts at tracking the remaining fugitives deserve our strong support. We applaud the outstanding efforts of the Serbian authorities in arresting Ratko Mladić and hope that it will help to bring reconciliation to the Western Balkans region. We also commend the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for arresting Bernard Munyagishari. We call on all relevant States to intensify efforts towards ensuring that the remaining fugitives are apprehended and brought to justice. There is also a need to intensify cooperation with the Tribunals with respect to the referral of cases to national jurisdictions and the resettlement of persons acquitted by the Tribunals.
The Tribunals have made commendable progress in raising awareness of their work through their outreach programmes. More of these activities will be needed as they gradually move towards the completion of their work. We call for sustained donor support for these activities, more particularly in funding the reference centers of information.
It is edifying to note the measures being taken by the Tribunals to implement resolution 1966 (2010). In our view, every effort should be geared towards ensuring a smooth transition to the Residual Mechanism. We therefore support the establishment of a joint action plan by the Tribunals and their Prosecutors in order to coordinate the activities and the many stakeholders that have been involved in the setting up of the Mechanism. We also commend the progress on the drafting of the rules of procedure and evidence of the Residual Mechanism and on the access and security policy for the records of the Tribunals and the Residual Mechanism.
Allow me to put on the record our deep appreciation for the diligent and valuable efforts of the Presidents and Prosecutors of the ICTY and ICTR in support of the global fight against impunity amidst very challenging circumstances.