A delegation from the European Commission finalised details for an agreement today in Arusha with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). This agreement aims to fund projects strengthening the managerial and operational capacity of the Tribunal. The Commission approved about 1.5 million Euros to fund eight ICTR projects in three important areas related to assistance and protection of witnesses and victims, improvement of the information management and security and the advocacy and capacity building.
The projects to be funded under the agreement will facilitate testimony from witnesses, expedite judicial proceedings and enhance various forms of ICTR’s advocacy and capacity building. They will ensure that witnesses and victims receive adequate psychological assistance, particularly witnesses who were victims of rape and other forms of sexual assault.
The information technology projects are intended to remedy technical limitations and provide smooth, faster and more secure circulation and management of judicial information. The effective implementation of these projects will help speed up judicial proceedings, while enhancing existing information security features.
Advocacy projects will help increase awareness of the Tribunal among Rwandans. They will also reinforce capacity of staff in the Office of the Prosecutor as well as that of young professionals, graduates and students from African and other Third World countries who seek to enhance their educational experience and qualifications through internship at the ICTR.
The Tribunal expects the Commission funding to support its achievements in establishing international criminal law while increasing the qualitative and quantitative value of its operations and speeding up the judicial process. The funding will also enable the Tribunal to implement its completion strategy and meet the deadline to finish its work as set by the UN Security Council. It would also facilitate greater synergy between and cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. All of which also benefit from the European Commission fund.
The Commission delegation to Arusha is led by Mr. Timothy Clarke, Head of the Unit of Human Rights and Democracy at the European Commission. Other members of the delegation are Mr. Franck-Olivier Roux of the European Commission where he is Administrator of the Human Rights and Democracy Unit and Task Manager for International Justice Matters in the Europe Aid Cooperation Office and Ms. Francesca Pavarini, Programme Officer for Justice and Human Rights from the delegation of the EU in Rwanda.
The Commission delegation also held talks in Arusha with the ICTR President Judge Erik Møse, ICTR Registrar Mr. Adama Dieng, ICTR Prosecutor Mr. Hassan Bubacar Jallow and other senior officials of the Tribunal.