Statement delivered by Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the General Assembly Plenary Meeting on the Report of the International Criminal Court —
Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union. We join others in thanking the President of the International Criminal Court for his presentation of the Report today.
I would like to make just two main additional points in my national capacity.
First of all, allow me to reaffirm Italy’s strong support for the International Criminal Court and its activities. In this regard let me emphasize the importance of the principles and purposes that inspire the Rome Statute system, including the impartiality and independence of the Court, as well as the continuing relevance of the imperative norms of international law codified in the Statute. These are fundamental achievements for the international community as a whole, which we must cherish.
As Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said on the occasion of an event marking the 20th Anniversary of the Rome Statute: “History has shown that leaving international crimes unpunished is not only morally wrong, but it plants the seeds of new conflicts and atrocities. A solid system of accountability for international crimes is a pivotal tool for prevention”.
And I come to my second point. We must work together – both States Parties and Non Parties to the ICC Statute – particularly here at the UN, to strengthen the preventative aspect of accountability. The prevention of conflicts and the prevention of crimes must be strengthened through all possible means. Clearly, the Court has a role to play in this regard.
Italy firmly believes in a rule based international legal order. The first permanent global criminal court, the ICC, is an essential element of such legal order. In this vein, we are committed to the universality of the Statute and encourage all States that are not yet parties to consider ratifying it.
With this in mind we should recall that the Court is a judicial body of last resort, which operates only in cases where national jurisdictions are unable or unwilling to prosecute. Our task, again, is to work together through capacity building, technical assistance, as well as other forms of cooperation, including judicial cooperation, to ensure that domestic jurisdictions are in a position to discharge their primary function to render justice to victims of the most heinous crimes.
The Report presented this year proves that the Court is a solid institution, which is progressing on a number of situation and cases; it is working effectively together with States and in partnership with the UN on the basis of the 2004 Relationship Agreement and in compliance with the requests contained in Security Council resolutions.
Italy will continue to lend its support to the Court in the fight against impunity and in the strengthening of accountability measures for the most serious crimes.
I thank you.