(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
President Cassese welcomes the "clear and uncompromising support" of the European Union
At the request of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, on 26 February 1996, Antonio Cassese, President of the International Criminal Tribunal, participated in the discussion on the former Yugoslavia during the meeting in Brussels of the Foreign Ministers of the fifteen countries gathered for the Council for General Affairs.
For the occasion, Mr. Cassese cited the level of co-operation with the Tribunal in The Hague which the countries of the former Yugoslavia have demonstrated. He stated that "Croatia has partly co-operated, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has refused to do so, despite the fact that it has just announced a change of attitude, Bosnia and Herzegovina has co-operated but does not have the means to impose its will in the areas under the control of the Bosnian or the Croatian Serbs. Still, these States are obliged to co-operate in accordance both with the binding decisions of the Security Council and the Agreements signed in Paris on 14 December 1995 and reaffirmed in Rome on 18 February 1996".
Mr. Cassese also noted that during his discussions in Zagreb, Sarajevo and Belgrade, he had observed that these Governments attached critical importance to the support, economic assistance, and political recognition of the European Union.
The Council noted that "the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Mr. Cassese, has reported to the Council on the latest developments of the Tribunal's activities. The Council confirmed to him the support of the Union and, in particular, agreed to the demand to maintain every form of pressure on the Parties concerned so that they collaborate fully and unconditionally with the Tribunal on the basis of the commitments made as part of the peace agreements".
President Cassese emphasised that he was "very pleased by the support for the International Criminal Tribunal which the Council unhesitatingly confirmed in such clear and uncompromising terms" in its conclusions on the former Yugoslavia.
He added that the assertion of the Council according to which "respect and implementation of the peace agreement by the Parties are pre-requisites for promoting co-operation" unambiguously implies, inter alia, that execution of the orders and warrants of arrest of the International Criminal Tribunal by the States must be considered a pre-requisite for co-operation of those States with the European Union.
The same applies for the assertion of the Council according to which agreements between the European Union and the countries of the region "will depend on the resolve of the States concerned to contribute to the consolidation of peace and to respect human rights, the rights of minorities and democratic principles".
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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