The five day visit of the President of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Mrs. Najat Al Hajjaji ended today with a press conference. Earlier, she addressed the ICTR staff on various issues related to the support that the Commission and the International Community, particularly African and Arab States can give to the ICTR in the areas of arrest of suspects/accused persons, movement and protection of witnesses called to testify before the Tribunal and enforcement of sentences handed down by the Tribunal.
During her visit, Mrs. Hajjaji met with the officials of the Tribunal and discussed matters pertaining to the work, achievements and challenges facing the ICTR. Among others, the President of the Human Rights Commission met with the new Prosecutor, Mr. Hassan Bubacar Jallow and the President of the Tribunal, Judge Erik MØse. She also met with Mr. Adama Dieng and senior staff to review the agreed cooperation framework between the ICTR and the Commission.
In her meeting with the staff of the Tribunal, Mrs. Hajjaji emphasized the need of creating a special Trust Fund. She committed herself to advocate for the creation of a special Trust Fund for victims of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes). The Ambassador would be counting on the technical expertise of individual ICTR Staff members and others in establishing the legal parameters for the creation of the said independent Trust Fund. She also called for contributions from members States including her Government and individuals to the ICTR Trust Fund in order to support the Tribunal’s Outreach program in Rwanda entailing inter-alia, medical and psychological support to victims traumatized or sexually abused during the genocide. To set an example she made a personal contribution to the ICTR’s Trust Fund.
Mrs. Hajjaji hailed the Tribunal’s pioneering role in eradicating the culture of impunity in Africa. She pledged to support and promote the work of the ICTR in the Arab Community by way of linking it to major Arab media houses. She also commended the Tribunal’s respect of the rights of the accused when she visited the UN detention facility in Arusha.