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Statement by Mr. Chen Xu, Counseller of Chines Mission to the United Nations, On the Work of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia And the International Tribunal for Rwanda

2000/06/02

At the 4150th Meeting of the Security Council on 2 June 2000


Mr. President,

At the outset, we welcome Ms. Del Ponte to the Security Council for the second time. We thank her for her briefing on the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and on her trip to Rwanda.

The cooperation of the countries concerned with the two Tribunals is extremely important to the Tribunals' work. We hope that the Tribunals will administer justice objectively and impartially in order to avoid becoming political tools. We fully share the view that the ICTY should conduct investigations into potential serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in its bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. According to the Statute of the ICTY, these activities fall within the Tribunal's jurisdiction. A moment ago, Ms. Del Ponte said that there are no grounds for investigations into NATO's activities, but we believe that such a conclusion should be supported by convincing evidence.

We note the progress that the Rwanda Tribunal has made to date. Expeditious and fair trials of those accused of committing serious violations of international humanitarian law will not only redress the injustice done to the victims of these crimes, but also act as an effective deterrent to future recurrences of such crimes. We fully understand the difficulties and complexities that the ICTR has encountered in its work. As I said earlier, the ICTR cannot progress in its work without the active cooperation and assistance of the countries concerned. Particularly in the process of case investigations, the collection of evidence and the delivery and prosecution of suspects, the Tribunal should enhance its communications and consultations with the Governments of countries concerned and make every effort to maintain cooperative relationships with them. We hope that the work of the two Tribunals will help to promote national reconciliation and regional peace and stability.

In conclusion, I wish to thank you, Mr. President, and other members of the Council for your tribute to Ambassador Wang Yingfan and the Chinese delegation. I will certainly convey your sentiments to him. We believe that your outstanding talents and experience will surely guide the Security Council to a successful conclusion of its work this month. The Chinese delegation will fully cooperate with you to that end.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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