| |     ћирилица | latinica  
Address by the President of the Republic of Serbia at the session of the United Nations Security Council


09. June 2021.
Address by the President of the Republic of Serbia at the session of the United Nations
Security Council

Dear Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, members of the delegations
I would point to a few ongoing issues in my speech that refer to the competences of the
Mechanism, namely, the possibility of serving the sentences passed by the ICTY and
Mechanism in the Republic of Serbia, with the current practice of disabling early release of
the sentenced persons as well as obligation of the Mechanism regarding protection of
sentenced persons.
The second part of the speech will be dedicated to issues that are opened by the six –month
Report on the work of the Mechanism by Mechanism President Mr. Agius and Report by the
Chief Prosecutor Mr. Serge Brammertz, especially regarding current cooperation of the
Republic of Serbia and the Mechanism.
The third part of my speech, and I noticed that in many of your statements even today, is
going to be the view of Serbia on everything that took place in The Hague Tribunal and what
the Tribunal verdicts brought to people in the region of former Yugoslavia.
The Republic of Serbia has initiated before the Security Council, on several occasions, the
issue of possibility of serving sentences passed by the ICTY and Mechanism in the
Republic of Serbia. Beside the efforts to move this issue from “square one”, not a single
response was obtained from the Security Council. The majority of persons that are serving
their prison sentences are citizens of the Republic of Serbia, and it comes naturally that the
Republic of Serbia is interested in enabling them to serve their prison sentences in the
Republic of Serbia.
ICTY and the Mechanism are making references to the Security Council as an institution in
charge of dealing with this issue.
I am ready to reiterate here the readiness of the Republic of Serbia to take over obligations
and liability for executing prison sentences that the Tribunal or Mechanism passed on the
citizens of the Republic of Serbia, under the monitoring of the Mechanism and full respect for
the authority of the Mechanism regarding early release.
Mr. President
A particular problem that we are facing with is disturbance by the judicial institutions
established in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, which is within Serbia and which is
under Interim Administration of the UN. We are witnesses of attempts of retrial for two
citizens that are serving their prison sentences for which they had already been trialed before
the ICTY. More concretely, in previous period there was an attempt for hearing of Nebojša
Pavković and for obtaining extradition of Vlastimir Đorđević.
I urge on the Mechanism and Security Council to prevent attempts of violation of the
principle ne bis in idem, a civilization principle that was confirmed in Article 7 (1) of the

Statute of the Mechanism and to disable retrials for persons already convicted by the ICTY,
particularly to make sure that it is not done in the territory which is under interim UN
Mr. President,
President of the Mechanism (Mr. Carmel Agius), apart from the regular Report, delivered
also on 11 May 2021 a letter to the President of the Security Council, whose subject is the
alleged omission of the Republic of Serbia to apprehend and turn over to the Mechanism
Petar Jojić and Vjerica Radeta, indicted of contempt of court, claiming that in this way the
Republic of Serbia was acting contrary to its obligations towards the UNSC Resolution 1966
(2010) and asking the Security Council to take measures in order to ensure that Serbia meets
the alleged obligations in accordance with the Mechanism Statue and Resolution 1966.
The point of the argumentation of the President of the Mechanism comes to that that the
Republic of Serbia has the obligation to deprive of liberty and extradite to the Mechanism its
citizens accused of contempt of court, regardless of the nature of accusation, circumstances
under which such an order was made and consequences that might result from its
It is about accusations that do not refer to sever violations of international humanitarian law
and that are related to a case before the ICTY, which ended in 2018 (Vojislav Šešelj case), by
acquitting the defendant in the first instance, and upon the Prosecutor’s complaint the
defendant was declared guilty and sentenced to a 10-year imprisonment, which was covered
by the time he spent at the UN Detention Unit.
Judge Agius states that Serbia ignores its obligations in accordance with the Resolution 1966
(2010). Quite the opposite- the Republic of Serbia takes seriously its obligations regarding
cooperation with the Mechanism. After the warrant for apprehension and extradition of the
two persons accused of contempt of court to the Mechanism had been introduced, the Higher
Court in Belgrade established that assumptions for their apprehension and extradition to the
Mechanism had not been met. The decision is founded on the rules of international law and
domestic law of the Republic of Serbia and it is mandatory for holders of the executive power
in the Republic of Serbia.
I would remind here that the first decision of a sole judge (Aydin Sefa Akay, 12 June 2018),
that was acting in this case was that the criminal prosecution of V. Radeta and P. Jojić for
alleged contempt of court was to be forwarded to the judicial authorities of the Republic of
Serbia. In procedures that followed, the argument of the alleged unwillingness of the
witnesses to cooperate with the judicial authorities of the Republic of Serbia was stated for
the first time, and the decision on deprivation of transferring the case to the jurisdiction of the
judicial authorities of the Republic of Serbia was based on the respective argument.
The Republic of Serbia expressed its readiness to take over the court procedure against Petar
Jojić and Vjerica Radeta on several occasions and it provided appropriate guarantees.
Additionally, the Republic of Serbia fully recognizes and accepts the obligation of the
Mechanism to monitor trials that were transferred to national courts with the help of
international and regional organizations, as well as to take measures envisaged by Article 6 of
the Statute of the Mechanism.

I would remind here that the Republic of Serbia extradited to the tribunal all the persons
indicted by the Prosecutor’s Office, and among the respective mostly highest political,
military and police officials; it enabled presence of vast number of witnesses, delivered
extensive documentation. Obligation of the Mechanism, in accordance with the Resolution of
this Security Council, is to take measures that enable transfer of cases to national justice
system. In previous practice, 13 cases were transferred to Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2 to
Croatia and only one to Serbia.
The last but not the least, I want to remind all of you here of the fact that France- of course as
a sovereign and independent country- upon request for apprehension and extradition of
Florence Altman for publishing documents and contempt of court, refused the request for
extradition, with an explanation that it does not extradite its citizens. For far smaller offence
you ask as to extradite our citizens Jojic and Radeta, showing both the distrust to Serbian
justice and judiciary and Serbian State, as well as a fact that the rule from ancient Rome is
still valid – quod licet lovi non licet bovi.
It does not harm to underline that high-level officers and politicians were not trialed for
crimes against Serbs, and that crimes against Serbs remained unsanctioned before ICTY and
Mechanism. Let me remind you, just as an example that Ademi and Norac case for ferocious
crimes against Serb civilians in Medački Džep was left to Croatian justice institutions. Proven
crimes against Serbs, like those of Ramuš Haradinaj, Naser Orić, then Ante Gotovina and
other indicted for military operation “Storm” that led to a complete ethnic cleansing of Serb
population in the big part of today’s Croatia, resulted before the ICTY in acquittals. Many
horrible crimes against Serb civilians that were committed in the territory of Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Croatia and the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija, and that
resulted in ethnic cleansing, simply were not the subject of interest of the ICTY.
What’s very important and not to leave anything unclear, Serbia is a country that condemns
all crimes and all criminals who perpetrated them in the region of former Yugoslavia.
However, it is interesting that despite often criticism Serbia is the only one that speaks openly
and condemns crimes perpetrated by Serb nationals, while in other regional countries they do
not speak at all about crimes that representatives of those nations committed against members
of Serbian people.
And I want to emphasize once again here in front of you that Serbia condemns terrible crime
in Srebrenica and extends its deepest condolences to the families of all killed in that
massacre. And there are no “buts” about the respective.
Nevertheless, we are here to analyze results and penal policy of ICTY and the Mechanism
and it was such that it has never gained trust among Serbian people, no matter where they
live. And not because we Serbs do not acknowledge crime committed by some of our
compatriots, but because The Hague Tribunal, with exceptions, was judging only to Serbs
and in all three territories of former Yugoslavia- Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and
Kosovo and Metohija, which some of the SC Member States see and name of course,
contrary to law and legal norms and UN Resolutions, as an independent state. I would try to
plastically prove to you how The Hague justice was tailored even though I know that it will
not come to understanding of many of you, but to me it is important because of the history,
facts, and school books that will be made in accordance with the facts.

Namely, Serbs were sentenced to totally 1138 years of imprisonment, and to 8 life
imprisonments. At the same time, The Hague Tribunal did not sentence a single Croat for
crimes against Serbs, neither in actions Medački Džep, nor Flash and Storm. How politically
cunning it was done in the Tribunal, and all wrapped in the form of law and justice.
Prosecutors of The Hague Tribunal chose on purpose three military and political leaders of
Croats, Bosniac Muslims and Albanians, on all three mentioned territories, committed against
Serbs. – Ante Gotovina, Naser Orić and Ramuš Haradinaj. It is interesting that following the
same pattern, the same pattern, this injustice was shared. Namely, all of them were sentenced
in the first instance procedure, with the exception of Ramuš Haradinaj, because not a single
witness survived. Gotovina was sentenced to 24 years’ imprisonment in first-instance
procedure, while by a mysterious decision of the second instance council and 3:2 judge ratio,
the verdict was changed to acquittal. Naser Orić, for crimes against Serbs, was also sentenced
in first instance verdict, but by a mysterious decision of the second instance court, and again
3:2 ratio decision was an acquittal and he was set free of any liability. Let me reiterate, all
witnesses in process against Ramus Haradinaj, either committed suicide or were killed under
very, very strange circumstances.
Let me conclude, I do not want to believe that someone wants to say that there had been no
crimes against Serbs, but judging by the verdicts of The Hague Tribunal, no one- absolutely
no one- is responsible for those crimes.
Nevertheless, we in Serbia will show responsibility and we will fight for peace, stability and
reconciliation in the region.
We ask UN Security Council Member States to help us with rational and pragmatic approach
and respect for international law and not by attempts of further humiliation of Serbia. Serbia
is a small country, with proud and courageous people, the one that gave the biggest sacrifice
during the WWI and WWII; people who wants to leave in peace with their neighbors. And
when I am asking you for this, I do not think I am asking for too much.
At the very end, Serbia is the fastest growing country of the Western Balkans region and we
cannot progress unless our relations with neighbors, friends and other countries are good,
solid and better. That is why- despite the selective justice that was applied in The Hague
Tribunal- we will be open for any dialogue, any kind of cooperation and we will look towards
the future and not towards the past. And I have only one message for the citizens of Serbia
and citizens of Serbian nationality in the entire region- keep your heads up, neither Serbia nor
Serbian people are convicted of anything and it is up to us to work even more diligently, to
open factories and to fight for our children and our future.
Long Live Serbia!

Print version
Address of the President of the Republic of Serbia at the United Nations climate change conference COP26 held in Glasgow
Selaković in UNSC: Dialogue and the implementation of the agreements reached are the only right way to resolve all open issues
Marking the Remembrance Day of all Serbs who died and were expelled in the armed operation "Storm"
Serbia has achieved great success in the field of digitalization
President Vučić: We have decided – our goal is the EU, but China is an important partner
Selaković invited representatives of members of the NAM to gather in Belgrade in October
Incidents in Kosovo and Metohija in 2021
Address by the President of the Republic of Serbia at the session of the United Nations Security Council
Meeting with the World Health Organization Regional Director for Europe
WHO describes immunisation process in Serbia as impressive
Pristina persists in its campaign of hatred against the Serbian people
Political extremism of Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija is becoming stronger
Marking the Day of Remembrance of the victims of the NATO aggression
Commemorating Remembrance Day of 17 March 2004 - Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija
Farewell visit of the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Commemorating Remembrance Day of 17 March 2004 - Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija
La République de Serbie au Mois de la Francophonie
Need to intensify political dialogue and economic cooperation with Nigeria
Selakovic: Fight against all forms of crime is a priority of the Serbian Government
Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb and Ljubljana elected as the new Patriarch of Serbia
Video material - National day of the Republic of Serbia
President Vucic: Serbia is ready for dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija, but will refuse being humiliated
Minister Selakovic speaks for Politika: The year of rejuvenation of Serbian diplomacy
President Vucic: Serbia is the first in Europe in terms of growth
Every Serb in the diaspora is potentially a lobbyist
Minister Selakovic: New ambassadors will be appointed this year, but the goals remain the same
President Vucic: Serbia to remain on the course of a winning policy of stability
Serbian Prime Minister the first PM in Europe to receive a Covid-19 vaccine
Meeting with Minister of Defense of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Signing of Contracts with Transmission Company of Nigeria
Presentation of Letter of Credence
Visit of the special envoy of the President of Serbia, Ambassador Zoran Vujić, to the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Minister Dacic in a meeting with Nigerian delegation
Why Kosovo is ineligible for membership in UNESCO?
News - Archive