On Tuesday, the President of the UN General Assembly, former Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vuk Jeremić, accused his critics of trying to intimidate and pressure him into cancelling a special meeting on international criminal justice boycotted by the USA and some of its allies. Jeremić set up the meeting last week, whilst serving as President of the Assembly, a largely-ceremonial, but high-profile, post. Critics of the event said Jeremić that organised it as an excuse to attack the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)… an allegation Jeremić rejected. A spokesman for the American mission to the UN explained its decision to boycott the event by saying, “It’s an unbalanced, inflammatory, thematic debate … on the role of international criminal justice in reconciliation”.
Jordan and Canada also boycotted the event, whilst EU countries sent junior diplomats. A number of key officials from international organisations and tribunals, including the ICTY, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and the International Criminal Court (ICC), chose not to attend. Without accusing any individual countries, Jeremić suggested that the 11 officials from the international organisations and tribunals didn’t attend due to outside pressure, adding that he, too, was under pressure to cancel the debate entirely, saying, “Unfortunately, these ladies and gentlemen refused to come to this debate. So, we worked with those who accepted, given that I wouldn’t balk under pressure to cancel what I believe is a debate on a critically-important topic. Somebody obviously thought that I could be embarrassed and intimidated into giving it (the debate) up”.
Jeremić said that the fact that the tone of the debate was more critical than supportive of the ICC, ICTY, ICTR, and other war crimes tribunals was because those who would’ve supported those courts chose not to attend the UN session. Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić was amongst those who spoke. He hammered away at the ICTY in a 45-minute speech to the assembly, telling participants, “The prosecution was favoured over the defence” and that the court was guilty of the “most flagrant violation of human rights”. Serbia and its ally Russia sharply criticised the tribunal over recent decisions to free two Croatian generals and a former Kosovo Albanian guerrilla commander.
Jeremić said that amongst those who avoided last week’s debate were the presidents of the ICC, ICTY, and ICTR, head of the UN Office of Legal Affairs Patricia O’Brien, head of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth, and former ICTY/ICTR chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte. He said, “How did it come about that all of them at the end of the day couldn’t be with us, couldn’t be with the member states on 10 April? We’re talking about too big a number … just to put it down to chance, that they just couldn’t make it”.
17 April 2013 (MSK)
Voice of Russia World Service
Let’s keep it simple. The USA chooses to cloak its warmongering under a façade of smarmy pseudo-legality. These courts deal in ex post facto “victor’s justice”… they aren’t real courts at all. The USA invaded the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, and Libya… and it’s beating the war drums for an invasion of Syria and Iran. I know who belongs in the prisoner’s dock… it’s not Serb patriots whose only crime was opposing the American-fomented and –financed breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (don’t forget, the present Croatian leadership is the direct descendant of the murderous Ustaše of World War II… the USA turned a blind eye to butchers of Orthodox Serbs and Croatian Jews escaping to South America and the USA). The USA refused to participate because its amoral and noxious foreign policy was under scrutiny… and they hate it when the truth is told about their unprincipled, unscrupulous, and brutal warmongering. God bless Vuk Jeremić… he told the truth.
Orthodox people have an obligation to support their Serb co-religionists in this. We shouldn’t follow disreputable quislings like Victor Potapov and James Paffhausen, who’ve sold out to the American powers-that-be (making them two of the worst “Sergianists” who ever existed… ironically, Potapov screams loudly about “Sergianism” in Russia whilst being more guilty of it than his targets are… fancy that). That’s the way it is…