The Libya/ICC cooperation is crucial to end a long period of impunity - 12 May 2015 [fr]
Libya/ICC - Statement by Mr. Tanguy Stehelin, Legal adviser of the French Mission to the United Nations - Security Council - 12 May 2015
I would like to thank Prosecutor Bensouda for her ninth report and for her briefing, and to affirm France’s support for the Prosecutor, and for the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a whole.
France reaffirms its commitment to resolution 1970 (2011), which referred the situation in Libya to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, thereby saving a considerable, indeed incalculable, number of human lives. The resolution also constitutes a symbol of the Council’s support to an institution whose noble mission is to ensure that, as the preamble to the Rome Statute states, the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole do not go unpunished.
A careful perusal of the Prosecutor’s ninth report makes it clear that there are three ways in which the Security Council should continue to work to ensure that Libya, which is currently going through a period of instability and uncertainty whose chief victims are the Libyans themselves, can get back on the road to peace and justice. The first is by encouraging the Libyan authorities to continue above all to cooperate with the ICC. That cooperation is crucial to ending a long period of impunity in Libya and enabling the Court to fulfil the mandate entrusted to it by the Statute and the Council, and it will help to build a judicial system in Libya that respects the rule of law.
Acting in accordance with the Rome Statute and resolution 1970 (2011), Libya has requested that Mr. Saif Al-Islam Al-Qadhafi and Mr. Al-Senussi be tried in Libya, based on the principle of complementarity. The Court has jurisdiction to try Mr. Al-Qadhafi and has requested that he be surrendered to it. However, it found the Abdullah Al-Senussi case inadmissible, and thus amenable to Libya’s demands. At this point, the Prosecutor’s report believes that it would not be useful for the Court to undertake a new investigation of those decisions. Libya must comply with the judges’ decision on this key issue, as the Pre-Trial Chamber recalled in its decision of 10 December 2014 and as the Prosecutor’s report also emphasizes. France therefore calls on Libya to continue its consultations with the ICC in order to remove obstacles to implementing the decision to surrender Mr. Al-Qadhafi to the Court.
France is pleased that in its resolution 2213 (2015), of 27 March, the Council heard the Court and the Prosecutor’s message loud and clear, noting the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber dated 10 December 2014 and emphasizing strongly the importance of the Libyan Government’s full cooperation with the ICC and the Prosecutor. The Council also called on the Libyan Government to cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the International Criminal Court and the Prosecutor as required by resolution 1970 (2011). We are pleased to note that, despite the instability prevailing in Libya, the Office of the Prosecutor was able to talk to its Libyan counterpart and implement the memorandum of understanding signed in November 2013, on sharing tasks between the Court and the Libyan authorities. France urges Libya to continue those efforts to share information and cooperate.
The second task is to ensure that the multiple crimes committed since 15 February 2011 do not go unpunished. In that context, France would like to highlight the section in the report that emphasizes that crimes attributable to members of Daesh fall prima facie within the jurisdiction of the Court on the basis of resolution 1970 (2011). France, which recently organized an open debate in the Security Council on the situation of victims of ethnic and religious violence in the Middle East (see S/PV.7419) and, along with other members of the Council, urged for a referral to the ICC, can only encourage the Prosecutor to continue investigating such acts, some of which may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.
The third and last step is to provide practical support to the Libyan authorities, particularly in the area of justice and rebuilding the rule of law. On this last point, the Council remains convinced that the only solution to the Libyan crisis is a political one. The efforts of Mr. Bernardino León, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya in general, to achieve a ceasefire and an inter-Libyan agreement can contribute to peace and stability and to establishing the rule of law in Libya. For that it is essential that the Council continue to provide support to United Nations mediation efforts, and in particular to establishing a Government of national unity as soon as possible. That requires that we collectively send a strong messages to the parties involved and consider using sanctions against provocateurs.