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UN tribunals for Rwanda, Former Yugoslavia sign cooperation statement

UN tribunals for Rwanda, Former Yugoslavia sign cooperation statement

The United Nations tribunals for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia - which already share the same Appeals Chamber and Prosecutor - today agreed to cooperate on court management, legal advice and other issues.

The cooperation statement was signed by Adama Dieng, Registrar of the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and the Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Hans Holthuis, who is on official visit in Tanzania. The ICTY is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands.

The tribunals, which are both ad hoc courts, agreed to cooperate in such areas as judicial and legal advisory matters, chambers, legal aid and defence, library, and issues related to victims and witnesses. The cooperation will also extend to outreach programmes, administrative matters, public information and press relations, translation matters and enhancement of communication through the use of satellite facilities.

Speaking to the press, the two Registrars said they were striving to achieve the common goal of completing the respective mandates of the two tribunals by the year 2008, or as soon as possible thereafter. They said there were several areas where each tribunal could learn from the experience of the other, and where both could pool resources to enhance efficiency.

During his one-week official visit in Arusha, Mr. Holthuis held discussions and brainstorming sessions with his counterpart and other senior officials from the Rwanda tribunal. He also visited the UN's Detention Facility.