President Gatti Santana concludes official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Hague
President's official visit to BiH

The President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), Judge Graciela Gatti Santana, today concluded her official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

President Gatti Santana commenced her four-day visit by meeting with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in BiH, Ms. Ingrid Macdonald, followed by an in-depth discussion with members of the United Nations Country Team. They addressed a number of topics relating to the Mechanism’s ongoing functions in BiH and areas of potential collaboration, including measures to combat genocide denial and disinformation.

On 11 July, President Gatti Santana participated in the official ceremony marking the Twenty-Eighth Commemoration of the Srebrenica Genocide, held at the Srebrenica Memorial Center in Potočari. The President delivered remarks, during which she underscored the Mechanism’s solidarity with the survivors and strongly emphasised the Mechanism’s continued commitment to fulfiling its crucial mandate and consolidating its achievements and legacy, as well as those of the ad hoc Tribunals.

While in BiH, President Gatti Santana met with a number of high-level officials, including the Minister of Justice, H.E. Mr. Davor Bunoza; the President of the Court of BiH, Judge Ranko Debevec and Head of the Court’s Criminal Division, Judge Minka Kreho; the Chief Prosecutor of BiH, Mr. Milanko Kajganić; and the Mayor of Sarajevo, Ms. Benjamina Karić. She also held discussions with the High Representative for BiH, Mr. Christian Schmidt, and a number of Ambassadors and diplomats accredited to BiH.

In her various meetings, President Gatti Santana stressed that, following the closure of its Sarajevo Field Office earlier this year, the Mechanism remains fully engaged in BiH and looks forward to continuing its support to and cooperation with the relevant authorities, including in the areas of witness protection, registering convictions in domestic records, and enhancing access to the archives of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the Mechanism. In the latter context, the President clarified that, for the time being, the archives remain the property of the United Nations and that the Mechanism is responsible for their preservation and access. She also encouraged greater support to the Information Centre on the ICTY that is housed at the Sarajevo City Hall.

Finally, President Gatti Santana delivered opening remarks at a conference held in Sarajevo, entitled “Srebrenica Genocide: From Courtroom to Classroom – Utilising Facts Established by the ICTY and IRMCT in Education”, which was organised jointly by the Mechanism Information Programme for Affected Communities, the Sarajevo Canton Memorial Fund, and the Post-Conflict Research Center.

This was President Gatti Santana’s third visit to BiH since assuming the Presidency of the Mechanism on 1 July 2022.