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SG/SM/20771
8 June 2021

Taking Note of Mladic Appeal Verdict, Secretary-General Counsels against Atrocity Denial, Stressing Accountability ‘Essential Step’ for Reconciliation

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General takes note of today’s delivery by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (“Residual Mechanism”) of the appeal judgment in the case against Mr. Ratko Mladić, former commander of the Bosnian Serb armed forces.

The Secretary-General’s thoughts are with the victims, survivors and their families who have suffered genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war for which Mr. Ratko Mladić has been found guilty.  He calls on all those in position of power to refrain from denying the seriousness of the crimes that have been adjudicated and notes that accountability constitutes an essential step for reconciliation in the region.

The final judgment in the case against Mr. Ratko Mladić, who is one of the highest-ranking officials to be tried by the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and by the Residual Mechanism, is a reflection of the international community’s commitment to international criminal justice and the fight against impunity.  It is another vital step towards coming to terms with the past to build a more resilient, secure and hopeful future for all citizens and residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region.

The Secretary-General expresses his deep appreciation for the dedication and hard work of the judges and staff involved in this case since 1995, when the first indictment was filed.  The United Nations remains fully committed to supporting efforts towards achieving accountability and justice for all.

For information media. Not an official record.