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United Nations - Office of Legal Affairs
Activities of the Legal Counsel of the United Nations

The Legal Counsel Mr. Serpa Soares accompanied the Secretary‑General António Guterres during his official visit to the Netherlands

21-22 December 2017

On the 21st December, Mr. Serpa Soares participated in the closing ceremony of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which was distinguished by the presence of His Majesty, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and the Secretary-General, as well as the three Principals of the ICTY, former judges, representatives of Member States, international courts and tribunals, international organisations, victim representatives and members of civil society and academia.

The Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares in the Netherlands
The Secretary-General with the President, the Vice-President and the Registrar of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the Legal Counsel

The Secretary-General reflected on the ground-breaking moment that represented the Tribunal’s creation in 1993, an institution which had pushed international expectations of accountability beyond what was anticipated and transforming how we speak about and address situations in which serious international crimes are committed. The Legal Counsel also accompanied the Secretary-General in his meetings with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, the President of the International Criminal Court, Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, the President of the International Court of Justice, Ronny Abraham and Members of the Court, and also at the dinner for the Secretary-General hosted by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima. The visit concluded with the official opening of the Humanitarian Data Centre, established and managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; and a visit to the Community Center Samsom, a centre engaged in an innovative community-based approach to prevent violent extremism.