UN’s slow pace of justice & UNESCO’s decision on Venice

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The slow pace of justice

UN judges have still not quite finished with the aftermath of the atrocities relating to the breakup of the former Yugoslavia almost 30 years ago. On June 30, they convicted former head of Serbia’s State Security Service, Jovica Stanisic, and his subordinate Franko “Frenki” Simatovic to 12 years in prison. The two men, now in their seventies, were initially acquitted in 2013, after having entered into court custody ten years earlier, but a retrial was ordered in 2015. If UN justice were any slower, it would probably have to be a post mortem affair involving psychopomps and psychostasis.

Venice on the brink

This month UNESCO is due to decide on whether to put the city of Venice on its list of World Heritage in Danger sites. The proposal, put forward a few weeks ago, will highlight the precarious status of the city, overwhelmed by tourism and vulnerable to climate change. The city and its lagoon were put on its list of World Heritage Sites in 1987. The list of endangered sites, created in 1972 “is designed to inform the international community of conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List, and to encourage corrective action”. Currently 53 “properties” are on the World Heritage in Danger list.

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