Open Debate on "International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and for Rwanda (ICTR)" 
Statement by Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg, 
Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN
Security Council, New York, 29 June 2004

Mr. President,

Both the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and for Rwanda (ICTR) are part of a large effort to ensure that those responsible for the most heinous crimes answer to them in public trials meeting the highest standards of international justice and due process. 

As a member of the Security Council at that time, Brazil voted in favor of Resolutions 827 (1993) and 955 (1994) that respectively created the ICTY and the ICTR. We stressed, in
those occasions, our preference for the creation of a permanent tribunal competent to judge potential perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and other serious violations against the International Humanitarian Law in an independent manner. Thus we thought to respond to possible allegations that such tribunals were selective. 

Mr. President,

The Security Council has before it the challenge of adapting the inherent limitations of ad hoc judicial arrangements to the principle of due process and the rights of both victims and those accused as well as the overall objective of bringing an end to impunity. 

It is necessary that the Tribunals remain attached to the goals set forth by Resolution 1534 (2004), while concentrating resources and efforts to make sure that the most senior leaders suspected of being responsible for crimes within the jurisdiction of the courts be prosecuted. 

Given the difficulties presented by the Presidency of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its latest assessment, Brazil thinks that insisting on rigid deadlines as set out in the Completion Strategy may frustrate justice, rather than assisting the international community to end impunity. The Council may eventually need to adjust those timetables in order to allow the tribunals to fulfill their mandates. 

Mr. President,

Brazil received with serious concern the letter dated 4 may 2004 of the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia regarding substantial lack of cooperation with the Tribunal. It is not acceptable that UN members disregard their obligations under the Charter, the Tribunal Statutes, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence as well as the relevant Security Council Resolutions. We urge Member states directly involved in the Tribunals’ work to cooperate fully with them, assuring the speedy surrender of fugitives and documents.

It is essential that the Tribunals continue to have adequate resources and personnel to perform their functions. Financial difficulties present a threat to the accomplishment of their duties and the ability to meet the Completion Strategies. Brazil has been making efforts to pay outstanding 
contributions to the Tribunals. A payment of U$ 2.6 million dollars was made on December 2003 and a similar sum shall be paid shortly. 

Mr. President,

Brazil is concerned about the possibility that trials in cases continuing beyond the end of the term of current permanent judges might be slowed or disrupted due to the non re-election of judges acting in those cases. Given the General Assembly’s prerogatives on this matter, it is our view that any legitimate solution should be approved by it. In that regard, we favor consulting regional groups in order to seek re-conduction of judges acting in cases deemed essential to the Conclusion strategy. 

Thank you.