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UN chief calls for adherence to global reconciliation strategies

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Wednesday called on the international community to adhere to global reconciliation strategies.

"Reconciliation is one of the great essentials in our work for post-crisis healing," Ban said at a thematic debate held here.

Post-conflict states are shocked by destruction and death and " accountability can help prevent any recurrence," he explained.

"All too often, even though fighting has stopped, and even after considerable time and effort, feelings can still be raw, and tensions can still erupt at seemingly slight provocation" and "that is why true reconciliation is so important," he said.

The UN General Assembly's debate Wednesday on the role of international criminal justice in reconciliation focused on the importance of embracing this ideological process which aids in disseminating tensions.

This process is precisely where "international criminal justice can make a decisive contribution," said the UN chief.

The "impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and other serious international crimes is no longer acceptable, nor is it tolerated," Ban said.

"But justice is not only a matter of punishing the perpetrators," he noted. "History has shown that long-term peace and stability requires the acknowledgment of past wrong-doings."

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) is an example of a court system created to "punish perpetrators," he said.

The SCSL was set up jointly by the government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations. It is mandated to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the territory of the West African country since Nov. 30, 1996.

Currently, the three cases heard in Freetown, the Sierra Leonean capital, have been completed. The trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor is nearing completion in The Hague.

Supporters say Thatcher's free-market reforms made Britain stronger and hail her leadership during the Falklands War (the Malvinas War) with Argentina, while critics complain her economic policies and battles with the trade unions destroyed millions of lives.

The special tribute session, however, came under criticism from some members of the Labor opposition. Labor leader Ed Miliband acknowledged her impact on Britain, but said he had disagreed with much of what she did.

"Whatever your view of her, Margaret Thatcher was a unique and towering figure," he said in answer to Cameron's comments.

In a statement made to the public, Thatcher's son Mark Thatcher said his twin sister Carol and the rest of their family had been "overwhelmed" by messages of support they had received from around the globe.

Mark said Thatcher would have been "greatly honored" by Queen Elizabeth II's decision to attend her funeral next Wednesday, a rare honor from the monarch only accorded to Winston Churchill.

The funeral for Margaret Thatcher will be held at St Paul's Cathedral in London next Wednesday.

It is reported Queen Elizabeth II will lead mourners at the funeral, the first time the monarch will have attended the ceremony of one of her former prime ministers since Winston Churchill died in 1965.

Security for the funeral is likely to be extremely tight with fears of disruption by Irish republican dissidents and far-left groups. Police are also reportedly bracing for a possible "lone wolf" attack.

Concerns about potential violence rose after trouble erupted at several street parties celebrating her death on Monday night in London, Liverpool, Bristol and Glasgow.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/asianet/130411/un-chief-calls-adherence-global-reconciliation-strategies