Statement delivered by Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Security Council briefing on the Sudan and South Sudan —
I would like, first of all, to thank the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, for the 26th report of the ICC on the situation in Darfur as well as for her briefing today; and above all I would like to recognize her tireless efforts to maintain the focus on the situation in Darfur and other situations around the world..
The report shows that the Office is continuing to work on the investigations and the proceedings already opened and it must also verify continuing alarming news indicating that crimes continue to be committed in Darfur. In this regard, the recent visit of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict to Sudan from 26 to 29 November 2017, has shown, despite some progress, the persistence of inter-community conflicts, human rights violations – including sexual and gender-based violence; impunity and lack of accountability and attacks on IDPs in Darfur.
In this situation, and with regard to the Court’s investigations, the Council has been faced with a situation of prolonged stalemate which is not satisfactory and is essentially linked to lack of cooperation.
Cooperation with the Court is a crucial element of resolution 1593 (2005), it is part and parcel of its full implementation, and it is an obligation under the ICC Statute.
Also in line with the European Union statement I recall that cooperation with the Court is a requirement for proceedings to take place. Resolution 1593 clearly indicates the general framework and some specific obligations, the ICC Statute further complements the resolution.
Inaction in this situation cannot be attributed to the Court; it is for States to do more, including collectively.
The Court, of course, remains a complementary mechanism; however, there must be some stronger indication of genuine willingness to engage in domestic prosecutions. Priority in investigation and prosecution of course is for the territorial State, but at the same time, it is the entire International Community that is called to action when this kind of crimes are committed.
As Italy leaves the Council at the end of this year we will reaffirm in this circumstance the position we have already held on previous occasions: we need to work more on more robust processes to address and discuss the issues underpinning this and other situations where accountability is at stake.
Of course the Council can ultimately decide not to decide. Absence of Security Council action is also a form of decision. We think it is detrimental to the authority of the Council, and it does not make us particularly proud, but it is the result of the procedures foreseen in the Charter.
However, we also believe that the Council should adopt a structured mechanism that could enable more in depth discussions prior to reaching any conclusion, including the conclusion that the Council is unwilling or unable to take any decision or suggest any measure that could allow some progress.
Processes and procedures maybe do not per se solve cooperation issues but we think it would create opportunities including more dialogue with all interested States, more engagement that could potentially allow for creative solutions to be devised.
Repeating the same arguments every six months, unfortunately, does not make us advance in any way. At the same time, of course, it is a necessary and appropriate reminder that justice still needs to be done for victims of crimes in Darfur.
I thank you, Mr. President.