The Secretary-General's press encounter after his visit to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (unofficial transcript)
The Hague, The Netherlands, 1 February 2007Q: We may assume you discussed the completion strategy with the President of the Tribunal and with the Chief Prosecutor. Do you anticipate that ways will be found to make sure that key suspects like [Ratko] Mladic and [Radovan] Karadzic can be taken before a judge even if this Tribunal does not exist any longer in its current form?
SG: I am very pleased to have an opportunity to visit the ICTY. I am here to express my deepest appreciation and respect for what the judges and prosecutors have been doing and will be doing to bring this rule of law principle firmly established. At the same time, it is crucially important for international peace [and security] that this rule of law principle is firmly established and bring an end to impunity to war criminals. I take this opportunity to urge again to those responsible perpetrators – Karadic and Mladic – to appear before the court for trial, for the interest and the benefit for themselves as well as for the benefit of international peace and security. I stand firmly behind the very noble and important work done by ICTY and I'll continue to cooperate with it.
Now concerning this strategy, I know that they have a mandate. I discussed this matter with President [Fausto] Pocar of the ICTY. I know that there is a sense of frustration for not being able to complete what they are mandated to do because of non-cooperation, non-availability of those people indicted. This is a matter to be closely coordinated and consulted with the members of the Security Council. I hope that the judges and prosecutors will be able to conclude their mandate. We will continue to discuss this matter. Thank you very much.
Off-the-Cuff on 1 February 2007