|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6794th Meeting (AM)
Security Council Extends Service of President, Three Judges
of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
The Security Council today decided to permit four judges of the Tribunal trying serious crimes committed during the 1994 Rwanda genocide to serve beyond the expiry of their terms of office in order to complete the work of the court, due to be completed by December 2014.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2054 (2012), the Council also requested the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to report on the projected schedule for transferring its remaining functions to the so-called “Residual Mechanism”, which is slated to open on 1 July 2012. Also by the text, the Council called on relevant United Nations units to intensify cooperation so as to find a flexible approach in addressing the staffing concerns expressed by the President and Prosecutor of the Tribunal at their briefing on 7 June 2012. (See Press Release SC/10667)
At the same time, the Council called upon the Tribunal to focus on its core functions, and urged all States to intensify their cooperation in apprehending remaining fugitives. It called on States in a position to do so to help the Tribunal relocate acquitted persons as well as those who had completed their sentences.
Stressing the exceptional basis for the service extensions, the Council decided that Judge William H. Sekule of the United Republic of Tanzania, Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa of Uganda and Judge Mparany Mamy Richard Rajohnson of Madagascar may continue until the completion of cases that they had begun before the 30 June expiry of their tenure. Those cases were intended to have been completed by 31 December 2012 or earlier.
With a view to completing all the Tribunal’s remaining work, the Council also decided to extend until 31 December 2014 the service of Tribunal President Judge Vagn Joensen of Denmark, whose term was also to have expired on 30 June.
The meeting began at 9:38 a.m. and ended at 9:41 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2054 (2012) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Taking note of the letter to the President of the Council from the Secretary-General dated 1 June 2012 (S/2012/392) attaching a letter from the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (‘the International Tribunal’) dated 21 May 2012,
“Recalling its resolution 955 (1994) of 8 November 1994, 1503 (2003) of 28 August 2003 and 1534 (2004) of 26 March 2004, and its previous resolutions concerning the International Tribunal,
“Recalling also its resolution 1966 (2010) of 22 December 2010, establishing the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (‘the Mechanism’) and requesting the International Tribunal to take all possible measures to expeditiously complete all its remaining work no later than 31 December 2014, prepare its closure and ensure a smooth transition to the Mechanism,
“Recalling further that the branch of the Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda shall commence functioning on 1 July 2012 and welcoming the preparatory steps that have been taken in this regard,
“Taking note of the assessments by the International Tribunal in its Completion Strategy Report (S/2012/349), and the updated trial and appeals schedule,
“Noting the successful referral of cases to Rwanda for prosecution, and emphasizing the importance of ensuring appropriate monitoring of the referred cases and respecting at all times the rights of accused persons transferred from the International Tribunal to Rwanda,
“Noting that one permanent judge will be redeployed from the Trial Chamber to the Appeals Chamber and five ad litem judges will leave the International Tribunal before 30 June 2012, on the completion of the cases to which they are assigned,
“Noting the concerns expressed by the President and Prosecutor of the International Tribunal about staffing, and reaffirming that staff retention is essential for the timely completion of the International Tribunal’s work,
“Noting with concern that the International Tribunal continues to face problems in the relocation of acquitted persons and convicted persons who have completed serving their sentences, and emphasizing the importance of successful relocation of such persons,
“Urging the International Tribunal to take all possible measures to complete its work expeditiously as requested in resolution 1966 (2010),
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Decides that, notwithstanding the expiry of their term of office on 30 June 2012, Judge William H. Sekule (United Republic of Tanzania), Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa (Uganda) and Judge Mparany Mamy Richard Rajohnson (Madagascar) may continue, on an exceptional basis, to serve at the International Tribunal until 31 December 2012 or until the completion of the Ngirabatware case which they began before the expiry of their term of office, while taking note of the intention of the International Tribunal to complete the Ngirabatware case by 31 December 2012;
“2. Takes note of the intention of the International Tribunal to complete all remaining judicial work by 31 December 2014 and decides, bearing in mind the expiry of his term of office on 30 June 2012, to extend the term of office of Judge Vagn Joensen (Denmark), on an exceptional basis, until 31 December 2014 so that he may continue to perform the functions required of him as trial judge and President of the International Tribunal, to complete the work of the Tribunal and expresses its intention to review this decision in June 2013;
“3. Requests the International Tribunal to report to the Security Council, as a part of its pending report to the Security Council on the Completion Strategy pursuant to resolution 1534 (2004) of 26 March 2004, on the projected schedule of the coordinated transition of functions of the International Tribunal to the Mechanism pursuant to articles 5 and 6 of the Transitional Arrangements annexed to resolution 1966 (2010) of 22 December 2010 with concrete estimated dates, taking into account that the branch for the ICTR of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals commences functioning on 1 July 2012, with a view to completing all remaining work in the International Tribunal and its closure as early as possible and no later than 31 December 2014;
“4. Reiterates the importance of the International Tribunal being adequately staffed to complete its work expeditiously and calls upon relevant United Nations bodies to intensify cooperation with the Secretariat and the Registrar of the International Tribunal and to take a flexible approach in order to find practicable solutions to address this issue as the International Tribunal approaches the completion of its work, and at the same time calls upon the International Tribunal to renew its efforts to focus on its core functions;
“5. Urges all States, especially States where fugitives are suspected to be at large, to intensify further their cooperation with and render all necessary assistance to the International Tribunal, in particular to achieve the arrest and surrender of all remaining fugitives as soon as possible;
“6. Commends States that have accepted the relocation of acquitted persons or convicted persons who have completed serving their sentences to their territories, and reiterates its call upon all States in a position to do so to cooperate with and render all necessary assistance to the International Tribunal for its increased efforts towards the relocation of acquitted persons and convicted persons who have completed serving their sentences;
“7. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”
* *** *