Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Inigo Lambertini, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, in occasione del Report della Corte Penale Internazionale all’Assemblea Generale —
Italy welcomes the report on the activities of the International Criminal Court to the General Assembly (doc. UN/72/349) and the opportunity to have this debate.
Let me warmly thank the President of the Court, Judge Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi for her presentation today and the work done over these years as President of the Court.
The report and the President’s address today show the continuing efforts of the Court, which is facing an heavy workload, to improve the effectiveness of its proceedings while continuing to meet the increasing demand for justice.
Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and I would like to emphasize only a few points in my national capacity.
First of all, it is essential for States to respect the independence of the Court. At the same time, it is our role as State representatives to deal with all potential concerns and tackle through dialogue at political level all relevant issues.
During the past three years, in my role as Vice President of the Assembly of States Parties in New York, I have been proud to work side by side with the President of the Assembly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal, Sidiki Kaba, in his efforts to improve dialogue among States Parties on important issues of common concern.
The Assembly of States Parties continues to be the proper forum to discuss a number of issues of common interest for the States Parties and we have an important ASP session coming in December.
At the same time, however, the fight against impunity remains a common concern of the international community as a whole and not just of the 123 States Parties. Hence, it is equally important to discuss about accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity here at the United Nations, together with all other UN Member States. This debate provides us with a good opportunity to do so.
The Rome Statute is a cornerstone in the fight against impunity and the establishment of the “age of accountability”. Next year – on 17 July 2018 – the 20th Anniversary of the adoption of the Statute will be celebrated and several events are in preparation to mark this anniversary. The importance of this treaty, which created the first and only permanent international criminal tribunal, is evident. The ICC is a unique institution and it is important to work together to further strengthen it.
Since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials after the Second World War and the establishment of the UN it took over fifty years for the international community to come together in Rome in 1998 and finalize this ambitious treaty, inspired by fundamental principles of international justice. This treaty shares many of the essential goals of the United Nations and the UN Charter. Universal participation to the Rome Statute continues to be an objective that we must pursue with an encouragement to all UN Member States to consider ratifying the Statute.
However, we must not forget that the values enshrined in the Statute are already universal in character and we, all UN Member States, can and should engage in furthering these values and promote the goals of the fight against impunity.
At the same time – it is particularly important that the International Community increases its efforts in upholding the concept of complementarity and works together to strengthen domestic systems as the ICC is and should remain a Court of last resort. Our objective is to see stronger capacity at national level to prosecute crimes and defend the interest of victims.
Our focus must remain on the victims of international crimes.
Also for this reason, on 17 July, the date that was proclaimed by the Kampala Review Conference in 2010 as the Day of international criminal justice worldwide, Italy – together with Denmark, Gambia, and Liechtenstein – organized an event during which the Trust Fund for Victims highlighted the crucial role it plays in providing redress and reparations both for individual victims as well as for the communities most directly affected by the crimes. And the order of the Court of 17 August concerning the destruction of cultural heritage in Timbuktu is an important confirmation of the continuing efforts in this direction which we welcome.
Thank you Mr President