Statement by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the Security Council Debate on the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals
8 June 2021
China thanks President Carmel Agius and Prosecutor Serge Brammertz for their reports and would like to express its condolences on the tragic passing of Judge Gberdao Gustave Kam of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (“Mechanism”).
The Mechanism has faced many challenges due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the leadership of President Agius, the Mechanism has overcome difficulties and, through working remotely, resuming in-person hearings and convening virtual Town Hall meetings, made progress in ensuring the timely and efficient conclusion of judicial proceedings, harmonizing practices and procedures between branches and boosting the staff morale. The Office of the Prosecutor has also continued its efforts to track down fugitives and actively advanced its work concerning trials and appeals. China appreciates those measures.
Under relevant Security Council resolutions, the Mechanism should be a small, temporary and efficient structure, the function and size of which will diminish over time. China hopes that the Mechanism will carry out its activities in accordance with the Security Council resolutions. In particular, we hope the judicial proceedings of the cases will be carried out and completed according to the projected timelines provided in the report. In this process, the Mechanism should rationalize its use of budgetary resources and prioritize judicial activities. As relevant cases come to an end, the Mechanism should duly reduce its expenditures.
Practical and effective cooperation between the Mechanism and relevant countries is important for implementing its mandate and advancing its work. Just now, President Agius briefed the Security Council on the disagreement between the Mechanism and the Serbian Government regarding the relevant case. China hopes that the two sides will further strengthen communication, increase mutual trust, accommodate each other’s legitimate concerns, and learn from the successful practices of the international criminal tribunals, so as to find proper solutions to the issues, join hands to combat impunity, and promote national reconciliation.
In addition, China expects the Mechanism to continue to improve its work by implementing the recommendations of the Security Council Informal Working Group on International Tribunals and the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services, and find early solutions to such issues as the relocation of acquitted and released persons.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Vietnam, the Chair of the Security Council Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, and the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, for their efforts in coordinating the work of the Security Council and the Mechanism.
Thank you, Mr. President.