Wien, 23. December 2010 Press release

Spindelegger: “Successful fight against impunity”

UN Security Council agrees on continuing the work of the UN criminal tribunals

Vienna, 22 December 2010 – “This is an important success in Austria’s fight against impunity”, stated Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger, expressing his delight at the adoption of a resolution submitted by Austria for the establishment of an international mechanism that is to ensure that the work of the UN criminal tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda is continued. “With this move, we guarantee that all pending proceedings will be completed and that it will also be possible in the future that such alleged war criminals as Ratko Mladić or Félicien Kabuga can be brought to trial before an international court.”

“Strengthening the rule of law has been a guiding principle of our membership of the Security Council. This agreement constitutes a gratifying conclusion to our consistent work”, continued Spindelegger. The new international mechanism guarantees that the conduct of proceedings against accused persons who are on the wanted list, the protection of witnesses and victims, the monitoring and execution of prison sentences and the administration of archives will be continued.

Chairing the working group for tribunals, Austria has led the negotiations for two years. Austria’s intensive efforts for a compromise between the “permanent five” on the Security Council, in particular the USA and Russia, literally lasted to the last minute. The adoption of the resolution constitutes a significant step comparable to the establishment of the UN criminal tribunals in 1993 and 1994. As chairman of the working group, Austria has submitted a total of nine resolutions supporting the work of the UN criminal tribunals within the past two years.

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