(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
Conference on ICTY Legacy in Croatia concludes in Zagreb
The conference on the ICTY’s legacy in Croatia was held today, providing a unique opportunity to over 160 local and international stakeholders to engage in a wider discussion on the Tribunal’s legacy and its role in dealing with the past in Croatia.
Addressing the audience, ICTY Vice-President Judge Agius said: “The legacy of the Tribunal will be fulfilled when this generation succeeds in facing the past and passing on the lessons learnt in the wake of the war and its aftermath to your children and grandchildren. There is no peace without justice and justice means justice to everyone: perpetrators and victims. You owe this to yourselves, your country, the region and the future generations. This is the main substance of our legacy to you.”
The Conference is the second of a series of conferences held this month across the former Yugoslavia. The first conference was held on Tuesday, 6 November in Sarajevo. The next and final conference will be held in Belgrade on Thursday, 22 November.
Speaking at the conference, Jasmina Dolmagić, Deputy Chief State Prosecutor of the Republic of Croatia said: "The establishment of the ICTY was a huge step forward in the fight against impunity. The Tribunal's knowledge and expertise should not go to waste but instead be used to its best in the handling of war crimes cases in Croatia."
Ahead of fulfilling the Tribunal’s mandate, the conference enabled participants to constructively address the ICTY’s achievements to date, as well as discuss the Tribunal’s continued contribution to transitional justice and reconciliation in Croatia. Participants were encouraged to share their thoughts on what the Tribunal’s legacy should be and how it should be reinforced.
Panel themes ranged from the future responsibility of local and international accountability mechanisms – namely the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) - to the importance of regional access to the Tribunal’s archives. Panel topics are the same for each conference, however, the specific issues raised and debated in Zagreb were in accordance with Croatia’s national concerns.
The participants included representatives from the Tribunal, officials from national judiciaries, experts on transitional justice issues, journalists, activists, local politicians, NGO representatives, academics and artists from across Croatia.
The three conferences are organised by the ICTY Outreach Programme and made possible through the generous support of the European Union and the Governments of The Netherlands and Switzerland.
The impetus behind this programme stemmed from two ICTY legacy conferences held in February 2010 and November 2011 in The Hague, at the initiative of former President, Judge Patrick L. Robinson. Participants at these conferences underscored the pressing need for discussions to be held in the former Yugoslavia concerning the Tribunal’s achievements and its legacy in the region.
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at jelacic [at] un.org, +31 (0)70 512 5580, +31 (0)65 357 8006.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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