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 earlier by the European Union and joins others in thanking the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his introduction of the report today.
I would like to make two additional points in my national capacity.
First, I wish to reaffirm Italy’s strong support for the International Criminal Court and its activities. I cannot emphasize enough 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 binding norms of international law that are codified in the Rome Statute. These are fundamental achievements for the international community as a whole that we must cherish. The report introduced this year proves that the Court is a solid institution that is making progress on a number of situations and cases. Italy supports any step undertaken in cooperation with the Court to improve its efficiency and effectiveness, while duly avoiding encroachment upon the Court’s impartiality and independence.
I now come to our second point. I would like to recall that the Court is a judicial body of last resort that operates only in cases where national jurisdictions are unable or unwilling to prosecute. The primary responsibility to prosecute and adjudicate the most heinous crimes lies with States, in particular, through their national judicial institutions. Our task is to work together through capacity-building, technical assistance and other forms of cooperation, including judicial cooperation. This will enable domestic jurisdictions to discharge their primary function of bringing justice to victims of the most heinous crimes. We believe that the completion of the International Law Commission’s work on crimes against humanity is an important step in this direction, and Italy will cooperate constructively with a view to transforming the draft articles into a convention as well as with all international efforts aimed at facilitating horizontal judicial cooperation.
Italy will continue to lend its support to the Court in the fight against impunity and in strengthening accountability measures for the most serious crimes.
I thank you.