Arusha, The Hague, 8 June 2022 – The President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), Judge Carmel Agius, met yesterday with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, in New York. It was their last meeting before President Agius steps down from his role as Mechanism President, effective 1 July 2022
At the outset, the Secretary-General welcomed President Agius, expressing deep appreciation for his work and his outstanding leadership of the Mechanism since January 2019. Having commended the progress made by the Mechanism, the Secretary-General also highlighted its important contribution to international criminal justice, which he stated is crucial to preserve.
In turn, President Agius conveyed his heartfelt gratitude for the Secretary-General’s trust and support throughout, stating that serving as President of the Mechanism, and before it the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, had been the honour of his lifetime.
President Agius remarked that after three and half rewarding, yet challenging, years at the helm of the Mechanism, he will step down with a sense of pride in its progress, which had been a joint achievement. In this context, he was immensely encouraged by the inclusion of the Mechanism’s activities as key outcomes under the promotion of justice and international law, in the 2021 Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization.
The President also emphasised his conviction that the Mechanism will continue its good work under the direction of his successor, and will again benefit from the superb support provided by the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs. In this regard, he praised the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr Miguel de Serpa Soares, and the Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, Mr Stephen Mathias.
Finally, President Agius informed the Secretary-General that he remains as committed as ever to international criminal justice and to the mission of the United Nations, and continues to be available to serve as a Judge of the Mechanism.
President Agius is in New York to present the Twentieth Progress Report of the Mechanism to the United Nations Security Council.