President of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), Judge Theodor Meron, today presented the bi-annual progress report on the work of the Mechanism to the United Nations Security Council.
The President highlighted the many duties now carried out by the Mechanism, including providing services to victims and witnesses, supervising the enforcement of sentences across two continents, and addressing a wide array of requests for assistance from national jurisdictions, among other tasks.
In addition, President Meron informed the Council that the Mechanism has handled a variety of judicial work during the reporting period, ranging from allegations of false testimony to requests for review and the variation of witness protection measures. He noted that the Mechanism’s first appeal hearing would be conducted soon, and a judgment in the case is expected by the year’s end.
Turning to the Mechanism’s archival work, President Meron informed the Council that staff of the Mechanism continued to work closely with staff of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on the preparation and transfer of records to the Mechanism’s custody. He added that progress was being made on the construction of the Mechanism’s permanent premises in Arusha, and expressed his gratitude to the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania for its on-going cooperation.
He noted that the Mechanism’s staff, “hailing from more than 45 different States, have played an invaluable role in making all of this possible. However, I would be remiss if I did not note with gratitude the tremendous support that the Mechanism receives from valued colleagues at the ICTR and the ICTY.” He added that the staff of the Mechanism will continue to work closely with their counterparts at the ICTR and the ICTY to ensure a smooth transition of remaining functions and services to the Mechanism as the two Tribunals complete their work and downsize their operations.
The President also underscored the importance of Member States’ continued support and cooperation, particularly in relation to the enforcement of sentences handed down by the ICTR, the ICTY, and the Mechanism and the apprehension of the remaining fugitives. Emphasizing the vital role Member States play in the apprehension of the fugitives, the President observed that the Council’s Resolution 2150 (2014) renewed a call for Member States’ cooperation in the arrest and prosecution of the remaining nine ICTR fugitives, three of whom are under the Mechanism’s jurisdiction. He said: “Such cooperation is imperative if the international community’s commitment to ensuring accountability is to have meaning.”
“I am, as ever, deeply grateful,” President Meron concluded, “to the members of this Council and to the international community for their continued support [.]”