Statement at the UNSC Briefing on the IRMCT
Statement14 June 2022
Thank you Mr President.
I want to thank President Agius and Prosecutor Brammertz for their comprehensive briefings this morning.
As this is President Agius’ last briefing to the Council in his capacity as President, I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to him for his tireless leadership in guiding the Mechanism since 2019, including during the challenging period of the pandemic.
The Fourth Review Report of the Mechanism details a range of successes over the past two years, continuing to demonstrate that accountability can be made a reality.
The Mechanism has delivered three landmark judgments, made breakthroughs in the area of fugitive tracking and substantially reduced its in-court activity in line with its mandate. In particular, we note yesterday’s decision by the Mechanism’s Trial Chamber which found that the trial against Kabuga can now proceed in the Hague.
We also welcome the progress achieved by the Mechanism in implementing the recommendations of both the Office of Internal Oversight Services and the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals.
Overall, we have seen real and tangible advances in realising the Security Council’s vision of the Mechanism as a small, temporary, and efficient structure, whose functions and size will diminish over time.
Cooperation is essential in ensuring that the Mechanism can fulfil many of its mandated functions and we recall that States’ have an obligation to cooperate with the Mechanism in its investigations and prosecutions.
Whilst we note and welcome some positive steps in terms of engagement with the Prosecutor, I want to reiterate today our continued concern at Serbia’s persistent failure to take action in relation to the Jojić & Radeta case.
We urge all States to comply with their obligations under international law, as well as to cooperate fully with and assist the Mechanism in its efforts to arrest and surrender the remaining fugitives.
Separately, Ireland welcomes the tireless efforts of the Mechanism, as well as the assistance and cooperation afforded by Member States, in confirming the deaths of fugitives Mpiranya and Munyarugarama. We note that only four fugitives now remain at large.
Ireland remains concerned by the ongoing difficulties experienced by the eight acquitted or released individuals who were relocated from Arusha to Niamey in December last year, and the impact of these developments on the Mechanism’s workload.
We call on the states concerned to respect the decisions of the Tribunal and to abide by the terms of the Relocation Agreement. We commend the Registrar for using his good offices to find a solution to this situation and support continued efforts in this regard.
For reconciliation and peacebuilding, acceptance of the truth and of facts is a precondition. Therefore, the negative developments during the reporting period relating to the denial of crimes and glorification of war criminals remain concerning. Ireland again condemns genocidal ideology, the denial of crimes and the praise lavished on war criminals by high-level officials.
In concluding, Mr President, Ireland reaffirms its steadfast commitment to international criminal justice, ensuring accountability and achieving justice for all victims and survivors of atrocity crimes. We firmly reject any effort to undermine the work of the Mechanism.
Until it fully completes the remaining work of the international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, the Mechanism remains an indispensable part of the international criminal justice system.
The victims and survivors of atrocities committed in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia deserve no less.