General Assembly Security Council

UNSC Debate on International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT)

(8 June 2021)


India Statement by Mr. R. Ravindra

Deputy Permanent Representative & Political Coordinator


Thank you, Mr. President,


Let me at the outset thank President Carmel Agius and Prosecutor Brammertz for their briefings and for their assessment of the work of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT). On behalf of my delegation, I also extend my condolences to the family of esteemed Judge Gberdao Gustave Kam who recently passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic.


2. I would also like to thank Ambassador Dinh Quy Dang and the delegation of Viet Nam as the Chair of the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, and the Office of the Legal Affairs for the effective coordination between the Council and the Mechanism. Allow me to commend President Carmel Agius for his stewardship of the process and for ensuring that the Mechanism remains on track and continues to deliver.


3. We welcome the progress made by the Mechanism during the reporting period, both in The Hague and in Arusha, including efforts aimed at ensuring business continuity to the extent possible under the current extraordinary circumstances. We have taken note that the restrictions in place to curb the spread of the pandemic have adversely affected some timelines for case completion.


4. India reiterates its support for the Mechanism and commends its contribution to the fight against impunity and to the preservation of the legacy of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. We have taken note of the work of the Mechanism for scheduling judgment in three proceedings - Mladić case, Simatović case and Nzabonimpa et al. case - in June 2021. Needless to add, the Mechanism should continue to implement its mandate strictly in accordance with the principles of justice, impartiality and fairness.


5. We acknowledge the progress made on other judicial matters during the reporting period, such as the variation of protective measures and the supervision of enforcement of sentences. We also note the work of the Prosecutor’s Office in its other residual functions. The Mechanism should continue to make headway in its remaining residual functions, including protecting victims and witnesses, tracking the remaining fugitives of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, extending assistance to national jurisdictions, and managing the archives of the ad hoc Tribunals and the Mechanism.


6. We welcome the progress made in the two defence cases of Mr. Jovica Stanisic and Mr. Franko Simatovic, which were concluded on 23 February 2021.  It is our collective responsibility to seek justice for victims. We also look forward to early progress on the relocation of the nine acquitted persons, who are still in the safe house in Arusha. This is a humanitarian issue which needs to be addressed with urgency and sensitivity.


7. In conclusion, Mr. President, we urge the Mechanism to take appropriate measures to keep the trial and appeal schedules on track and also contribute to the capacity building of national judicial authorities so that they can effectively discharge their mandate on a self- sustaining basis.  I thank you, Mr. President.