Her Excellency Mrs. Mary McAleese, the President of Ireland, today visited the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and pledged her country’s full support for ICTR’s commitment to international justice. The Tribunal is pioneering the promotion of international justice and national reconciliation in Rwanda, she said.
President McAleese, who was accompanied by senior Irish and Tanzanian Government officials, explained that the ICTR has opened a new frontier in international law. She added that it was important that those in power in various parts of the world realised that the world would not allow them the comfort of perpetuating the culture of impunity.
The President was speaking during a meeting with the Tribunal’s senior officials including Judge Erik Møse, President; Judge Arlette Ramaroson, Vice President; Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow, Prosecutor; and Mr. Adama Dieng, Registrar.
She also attended a court session of the trial of Bagosora et al. This trial involves four high ranking military officials before Trial Chamber I.
The ICTR President, Judge Møse commended Ireland for its strong commitment to human rights and international criminal justice, including its longstanding support of the Tribunal. The visit of the Irish President was in itself an inspirational expression of such support. He gave an overview of achievements so far and the Tribunal’s progress towards fulfilling its mandate in accordance with the Completion Strategy.
The Prosecutor, Mr. Jallow appealed to the Irish Government to assist in apprehending fugitives at large as well as providing material support to states which will be willing to prosecute cases transferred from the Tribunal before the end of its mandate in 2008.
The Registrar, Mr. Dieng also commended Ireland for supporting the ICTR from its very beginning. He specifically called upon the Irish Government to contribute towards the sustainability of ICTR Trust Fund projects including health projects for witnesses.
Ireland has been a pioneer contributor to the ICTR Voluntary Trust Fund since 1995.