Press Releases

    25 July 2002

    Press Statement on Yugoslav Tribunal, Democratic Republic of Congo by President of Security Council

    NEW YORK, 24 July (UN Headquarters) -- Following is yesterday's press statement on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo by Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom), President of the Security Council:

    Private Meeting on Yugoslav Tribunal

    We had as our visitors at this morning's private meeting the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Judge Claude Jorda, and the Prosecutor for the Tribunal, Carla del Ponte. They came to make a report to us on their proposal for the future work of the Yugoslav Tribunal, in terms of the number of cases they expect to hear over the next few years up to the current limit of the Tribunal's life in 2008. They are making proposals for the division of cases -- the Tribunal proper in The Hague and special courts to be set up within the court system of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the intermediate level of indictees that come to the Tribunal's notice. The proposal from the President of the Court is to make that division for the efficient working of the Tribunal's business, by sharing it with the Bosnia system.

    Council members took note of that report and about to adopt a presidential statement [see Press Release SC/7461] to approve the general strategy that has been presented to the Council by the President of the Tribunal. The Council will then consider in greater detail the propositions for the working of this new system and will take a decision at a later date on the full details of what is being proposed. So it is a two-stage process. We are about to approve the general strategy of this division of roles. Later, there will be a decision on the detailed workings of the double Court, the two-tier, eventually three tier, court because the lowest level of cases are really meant to go to the bottom of the system. That will be explained to you as we move along.

    Democratic Republic of Congo and Other Business

    In other business of the Council this morning, we cleared a draft presidential statement on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which the French delegation has been negotiating. That is now cleared and is about to be taken into the formal meeting [see Press Release SC/7462]. I ought to make one specific point about that presidential statement. It is a reaction to the briefing we had last week on the events in Kisangani and on the exchange we had with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, and the report of her Special Rapporteur. We note in this presidential statement the ongoing work on the wider questions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and particularly the discussions between the governments concerned with the Lusaka process, notably the Governments of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, brokered by the South African Government. This statement makes no comment on the breaking news of progress being made in those discussions. We are waiting for a briefing from the Secretariat tomorrow or the next day on that subject, and we will then come back with a press statement or a presidential statement to encourage a good result from those continuing discussions. So please don't take this morning's presidential statement as either a statement on those South African discussions or as an ignoring of them. We will come back to that question. We also went through the procedure in informals for the handling of the application by Switzerland for joining the Organization. This will be processed through the Security Council tomorrow morning.

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