Nations' support key to tribunal's success, ICTY president tells US delegation

Nations' support key to tribunal's success, ICTY president tells US delegation

If the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was to complete its work as planned, it needed "unwavering" international cooperation in arresting the accused and turning over evidence, the president of the court told a visiting United States delegation today.

In a meeting with the US Ambassador-at-large for War Crimes, Pierre-Richard Prosper, and the US Ambassadors serving in The Hague, Belgrade, Sarajevo and Zagreb, Judge Claude Jorda explained his plans to wind up the ICTY's work by 2007-08.

Describing the criteria he believed must be met for this target date to be feasible, Judge Jorda said besides international support, the Tribunal also needed to implement reforms to expedite its work and reorient its mandate towards trying high-ranking political and military leaders, with subordinates tried in Yugoslav courts.

Judge Jorda told the delegation he was pleased by US support for the court and expressed his firm belief that US backing for the ICTY would be demonstrated this week as the UN General Assembly's Administrative and Budgetary (Fifth) Committee votes on the Tribunal's financing.

The Registrars of the two war crimes courts - Hans Holthuis of the ICTY and Adama Dieng of the Rwanda tribunal - are participating in the Committee's discussions.