From 20 to 22 May, high-level delegations from the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Prosecutor’s Office of the Federation of BiH, the Prosecutor’s Office of Brčko District, the Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office of Una-Sana Canton, the State Attorney’s Office and specialized county prosecutor’s offices of Croatia, the Special Prosecutor’s Office of Montenegro, the War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office of Serbia and the UN Mechanism Office of the Prosecutor participated in the Regional Conference of War Crimes Prosecutors, held in Belgrade, Serbia, convened by the War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office of Serbia and UNDP in partnership with the United Kingdom and Italy.
The primary topic of discussion was regional cooperation in war crimes cases. Following the conclusion of the conference, the offices represented made the following joint statement reflecting their main conclusions and commitments.
The participating offices agreed that more prosecutions are still needed for war crimes committed in conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, and that cooperation between their offices is critical to achieving this. Currently, cooperation faces many challenges which need to be addressed.
To significantly improve cooperation, the participating offices agreed to identify specific cases suitable for transfer between their offices and commence necessary discussions. It was further agreed that it is necessary to raise the level of victims’ trust in regional cooperation.
To this end, the Mechanism Office of the Prosecutor will as needed to facilitate the progress of transferred cases. Participating offices from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia desire continued assistance from the Mechanism OTP to build capacity and support the implementation of their respective mandates.
Finally, the participating offices underscored the importance of regular communication, and therefore the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina offered to convene a subsequent conference.