From 30 November to 3 December 2015, the Legal Counsel of the United Nations, Mr. Serpa Soares, visited Arusha, Tanzania, to participate in a series of events held to mark the official closing of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) at year’s end. The week started with the inauguration of the Arusha Peace Park and the ribbon cutting ceremony for a monument in memory of the work of the ICTR. The Peace Park, which includes a playground for children, was provided by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. Remarks at the inauguration were delivered by the Arusha Regional Commissioner, the President of the ICTR, Judge Joensen, and a number of former Presidents of the ICTR. The Legal Counsel delivered remarks and was given the honour of cutting the ribbon and declaring the Arusha Peace Park formally open.
The Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, cuts the ribbon to formally open the Arusha Peace Park in the presence of high-level dignitaries
The main event, the official ICTR closing ceremony entitled “Fighting Impunity Through Justice”, was held on 1 December 2015 in the presence of H.E. Mr. Busingye Johnston, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Republic of Rwanda, the Representative of the Government of United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Ambassador Yahya Hassan Simba, and the President, the Prosecutor, the Registrar and other officials of the ICTR. The Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, represented and delivered a message on behalf of the Secretary-General
At the ICTR closing ceremony (from left to right): Mr. Hassan Bubacar Jallow, ICTR Prosecutor, Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Mohamed Chande Othman, Chief Justice of Tanzania, Mr. Vagn Joensen, ICTR President, Mr. Bongani Majola, ICTR Registrar
On 2 December 2015, Mr. Serpa Soares participated in a Colloquium, convened by the Prosecutor of the ICTR and the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), Mr. Hassan Bubacar Jallow. The High-Level Prosecutors’ Colloquium focused on promoting accountability for international crimes in particular at the national level in light of the closing of the ICTR.
Mr. Serpa Soares addresses the high-level roundtable discussion convened by ICTR Prosecutor Jallow
In the margins of the weeklong commemoration, Mr. Serpa Soares held informal meetings with a wide number of participants, including, in particular, the President, the Prosecutor and the Registrar of the ICTR, the President of the MICT, the Prosecutor of the ICTY, representatives of the Governments and Judiciary of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Rwanda, as well as members of the diplomatic community based in Tanzania, academics and representatives of NGOs and civil society.