Mr. President,

I would like to thank President Gatti Santana and Prosecutor Brammertz for their detailed presentations. We would also like to welcome the participation of the representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Rwanda at this meeting.

Mr. President,

Thirty years have passed since this Council decided to establish an international tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. As we prepare to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, the Mechanism has made the transition from an operational tribunal to a truly residual institution. This crucial moment calls for a number of observations, which I would like to echo.

Firstly, we would like to reaffirm our support for the Mechanism and commend its efforts to implement its mandate. The significant progress made over the past six months illustrates the determination of the Prosecutor, the President and the judges to bring the perpetrators of international crimes to justice and to combat impunity. In particular, we welcome the conclusion of the latest cases inherited from the international criminal tribunals. The decisions in the Kabuga and Stanišić and Simatović cases, of which we have taken note, mark the Mechanism's entry into a purely residual phase.

The conclusion of the latest trials, however, in no way diminishes the relevance of the Mechanism. On the contrary, its determination to combat impunity remains crucial to promoting peace and preventing the negationist and revisionist tendencies and the glorification of criminals that have been reported to us, and which give rise to our deep concern.

Secondly, the Mechanism's future deserves our full attention. Having entered a new phase of operation, the Mechanism will continue to play an essential role in monitoring the implementation of sentences, assisting national authorities, tracking down fugitives and establishing the responsibility of the many people suspected of international crimes. We take note of the new priorities and of the development of a framework project for the completion of the Mechanism's functions, and welcomes the determination of the President and the Prosecutor to optimize resources and strengthen the Mechanism's effectiveness. Finally, we wish to emphasize the importance of preserving the legacy of the international criminal tribunals and the Mechanism. We therefore note with interest the Mechanism's exchange with the United Nations Office at Geneva concerning its digital preservation program. We also welcome the Mechanism's efforts to help affected communities, particularly the younger generations, to better know the facts of the crimes committed and to recognize their suffering.

Thirdly, an effective fight against international crimes requires sustained and strengthened cooperation. The functions to be performed by the Mechanism are crucial, and it must be able to count on strong support from the United Nations and the Security Council in this task. In addition, the Mechanism must be able to count on the support of all States. We deplore the lack of cooperation on the part of some of them in arresting and handing over suspects, and urge them to redouble their efforts in this area. We also encourage States to strengthen their regional cooperation frameworks in criminal matters, and welcome in this context the efforts made by the Prosecutor in the Western Balkans. We also welcome the Prosecutor's efforts to strengthen national capacities and respond to requests for assistance. Finally, we regret that the situation of the seven people who have been resettled in Niger for over two years has still not been resolved, despite the considerable efforts made by the Mechanism in this respect.

Mr. President,

Since their creation, the ad hoc international criminal tribunals and the Mechanism have made it possible to bring many perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide to justice, and to recognize the suffering of the victims. As the Mechanism enters a purely residual phase, it is essential that we give it our full support until its work is completed. We must continue our efforts to promote justice, accountability and peace.

Thank you.