Security Council extends prosecutors at UN war crimes tribunals

Security Council extends prosecutors at UN war crimes tribunals

Security Council
The Security Council today agreed to extend the mandates of the current chief prosecutors at the United Nations war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

By a resolution adopted with 14 votes in favour and only the Russian Federation abstaining, the Council agreed to extend the mandate of Carla Del Ponte at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) until 31 December this year, in line with a request from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The resolution noted “the need to ensure a smooth transition between the departure of Ms. Carla Del Ponte and the assumption of office of her successor” and that Mr. Ban intends to submit the name of his nominee to succeed Ms. Del Ponte.

Ms. Del Ponte, whose mandate began in 1999, is the third chief prosecutor at the ICTY, which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

Explaining his abstention, the representative of the Russian Federation said his country had doubts about Ms. Del Ponte’s understanding of her mandate.

“Instead of carrying out the profoundly professional duties of a jurist employed by the international community to support an impartial prosecution in the Tribunal, for the present Chief Prosecutor, the priority has become functions of being some kind of quasi-political player who has had the audacity to write a prescription in the area of international relations,” he said.

In another action, Hassan Bubacar Jallow was re-appointed to a four-year term at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), effective from tomorrow, after a resolution passed unanimously by Council members.

The resolution allows for Mr. Jallow’s appointment to be terminated if the ICTR, which is based in Arusha, Tanzania, completes its work before September 2011.