Delivered By: Saod Al Mazrouei, Alternate Political Coordinator
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The UAE would like to congratulate Judge Graciela Gatti Santana for assuming the presidency of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. In addition to her qualifications and experience that qualify her for this position, we believe that her appointment constitutes a positive step towards raising the proportion of women’s representation in leadership positions within the United Nations.
I would also like to thank the President as well as Mr. Serge Brammertz, Prosecutor, for their valuable briefings. We express our appreciation to Judge Agius for his tireless efforts as President of the Mechanism since 2019. I welcome the participation of Serbia, Rwanda, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina in this meeting.
The UAE fully supports the mandate of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and welcomes its report on the progress achieved so far. The Mechanism plays a critical role in achieving justice and protecting the rights of victims of war crimes, genocide and ethnic cleansing and combating impunity for serious violations of international law that occurred in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
We are following the progress made by the Mechanism in performing its core functions. We take note of the start of trial proceedings in the Kabuga case in late September, which may be the last trial on the Mechanism’s docket, and we hope the Mechanism will be able to conclude the appeal proceedings in the Stanišić and Simatović case by next year. We emphasize that the main responsibility for holding perpetrators of crimes accountable lies with states, while stressing the important role played by international bodies in achieving international justice. We also appreciate the efforts made by the Mechanism, represented by itsjudges and the Prosecution, to find ways to simplify and end its work, including prosecuting of all fugitives.
We stress the importance of continuing efforts by the Mechanism to be more effective and efficient and to reduce its workload, guided by the Security Council’s vision that the Mechanism, as a structure, must be temporary and effective and diminish over time. In this regard, the UAE welcomes the President’s advice that the coming years will see the Mechanism transition from a fully operational court to a truly residual institution.
Regarding the situation of the eight acquitted and released persons, the UAE regrets that their situation remains unresolved. We stress the importance of the Mechanism continuing its work with all concerned parties to reach an appropriate solution, and that this be achieved as soon as possible to ensure the protection of their rights and freedoms.
In conclusion, the UAE urges all States, especially those most concerned, to fulfill their obligations and cooperate with the Mechanism and support it to accomplish its remaining tasks to achieve international justice, as relying on justice is the best way to honor the victims of serious international crimes. In that connection, we reaffirm that strengthening international justice and the rule of law on the basis of the United Nations Charter is essential for the international community to effectively achieve sustainable development.
Thank you, Mr. President.