Statement delivered by Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations and President of the Security Council, at the Security Council briefing on the situation in Libya – Cooperation Libya/ICC —
I would like to thank the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, for her important briefing to the Security Council and the clear and detailed information provided in her report, particularly the details on the new cases and the relevant arrest warrants.
As Vice President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC I am particularly conscious of the delicate task that she has to discharge. Under Madame Bensouda’s determined guidance the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC has made progress in many different areas and I would like to extend to her our strong appreciation and support.
The situation in Libya was unanimously deferred to the International Criminal Court by this Council through resolution 1970. And we are pleased to see that the Prosecutor has made it one of the priorities of her Office, with continuous attention to crimes that are committed in the Country.
We believe that the activity of the Court can bring positive developments particularly if the Council remains united and committed to support Libya and helps to ensure that justice is done in a fair and impartial manner.
There must not be impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Libya – perpetrators must be brought to justice; all pending arrest warrants issued by the Court must be executed. It is also in the interest of those accused of crimes to surrender to the jurisdiction of the Court and receive a fair trial.
The principle of complementarity entails that the Court is a court of last resort; the ICC is ready to leave cases to domestic authorities – but it is incumbent on domestic authorities to comply with the provisions of the Statute of the Court. There must be investigations and prosecutions; there must be a constant flow of information with the Court. When the Court determines that cases cannot be tried at national level, domestic authorities are under an obligation to comply with the requests from the Court.
We welcome the positive and constructive cooperation of the Libyan authorities with the Office of the Prosecutor. At the same time, we encourage all Libyans to cooperate with the Court in all ongoing investigations. Italy will continue to support the Office of the Prosecutor in its delicate work in all possible ways. Impunity must have no space, as accountability is crucial in the reconciliation and stabilization effort.
We are pleased to note that the report refers to the good cooperation the Office of the Prosecutor has had with UNSMIL and with the new SRSG Ghassan Salamé.
We also wish to thank Ms. Bensouda for the information about investigations into allegations of crimes against migrants.
Italy remains concerned for the respect of human rights in Libyan prisons and recalls existing international obligations, including relevant Security Council resolutions.
We deplore that insecurity in Libya has been hampering the Court in carrying out its investigations in the field; however we are hopeful that improvement can change this state of fact and create conditions conducive to allowing the Prosecutor to visit Libyan territory.
In this respect, let me reiterate the need for a political solution to the crisis in Libya, under the framework of the LPA. Italy supports the UN efforts and the Action Plan laid out by SRSG Salamé to this end and continues to engage with the Presidency Council of the GNA, led by Prime Minister Sarraj, to help it address the persisting challenges in the country.
We note with extreme concern the increasing level of violence registered on the ground in the last few weeks. We condemn in the strongest terms recent episodes, such as the bombing in Derna and the killing of 36 men in al-Abyar, near Benghazi. They are particularly worrisome, in a phase in which the effort of SRSG Salamé to give new impetus to the political process is gaining traction.
We call on all Libyans to unite and work together in support of the political and reconciliation process as laid out by SRSG Salamé in his Action Plan.
In conclusion let me reiterate that we believe this Council should adopt a more structured approach in dealing with international criminal justice issues.
In this regard – as you know – we will continue to consult with Member States for solutions in favor of broader discussions on the role international criminal justice and accountability for international crimes in the activities of the Council. Any solution which would enable such a discussion would be a step forward: justice and accountability need to become an integral part of the strategy and of the preventive action of this Council.