24 October 2011

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General Mourns Death of Antonio Cassese, Italian Jurist Who Headed


International Tribunals for Former Yugoslavia, Lebanon


The following statement was issued on 22 October by the Spokesperson of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

It is with profound sadness that the Secretary-General has learned of the passing of Judge Antonio Cassese.

Throughout his distinguished career, Antonio Cassese made his exceptional professional skills available to the United Nations.  He served as the first President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and as the first President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.  As an independent expert, he reviewed the judicial efficiency of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.  He led the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur.  In these and many other functions, Antonio Cassese shaped the development of international criminal justice and made a major contribution to fighting impunity and bringing about an age of accountability.

As a professor, Antonio Cassese taught international law to generations of students at his alma mater, the University of Florence, at the European University Institute and around the world.  He became a global citizen and yet always remained a true Italian.  Antonio Cassese passed away last night at his home in Florence at the age of 74.

The United Nations will fondly remember Antonio Cassese as a giant of international law, as a loyal friend who was always there when the Organization needed his wise counsel and dedicated services, and mostly as an exceptionally charming and warm human being who courageously stood up for justice, for human rights and for humanity.

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For information media • not an official record