Intervento pronunciato dall’Ambasciatrice Mariangela Zappia, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Dibattito in Assemblea Generale sul Rapporto della Corte Penale Internazionale . —
Thank you very much Madame President. It is a pleasure to see you presiding this important debate. Let me take this opportunity to thank the President of the International Criminal Court, for presenting this year’s report.
Italy aligns itself with the statements delivered by the European Union and by Germany. I would like to provide some additional remarks in my national capacity.
Italy considers the International Criminal Court a central component of the rule-based international order and a fundamental instrument for fighting impunity and strengthening accountability for the most heinous crimes. The Court sits at the apex of the broader system of organizations and mechanisms supporting international criminal justice and accountability. The most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished. As the world’s first and only permanent international criminal court, the ICC plays a key role in holding perpetrators of those crimes accountable and providing justice for victims.
In the last months, we have observed with great concern political attacks and the adoption of sanctions against the Court and its personnel. We call upon all Member States to respect the integrity and independence of the Court. States Parties to the Rome Statute have a responsibility in defending the integrity and independence of the Court and Italy will continue to do its part in this respect.
With regard to this year’s report, Italy is particularly appreciative of the efforts made by the ICC in adapting its working methods to the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and in the progress made in a number of investigations and proceedings despite the difficult circumstances.
The number of victims participating in proceedings (more than 11,000) in the reporting period is testimony to the fact that the Court remains an indispensable institution of last resort for the still too many individuals who have fallen victim of the most atrocious crimes. It is Italy’s firm view that the focus on victims is an essential element of international criminal justice. The Court’s role is not only to bring perpetrators to justice, but equally to deliver justice to those primarily affected by crimes committed, thus contributing to sustainable peace and post-conflict reconciliation. For these reasons, Italy has decided to contribute to the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC), thus supporting its efforts in ensuring reparations and providing physical, psychological, and material support to victims and their families. In this respect we note with deep sadness the premature and sudden passing of the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund, Mr Felipe Michelini.
Italy remains concerned about the outstanding, unexecuted arrest warrants against 14 individuals and calls upon States Parties and UN Member States to comply with their obligations under the ICC Statute and the UN Charter. We regret that the Court has not received any substantial response to the 16 instances of non-cooperation communicated to the Security Council. We have also noted with concern that in the reporting period no new agreements were concluded between the Court and States on witness relocation, the enforcement of sentences and the interim and final release of suspects or accused. Deeper and more extensive cooperation with States remains key to the success of the Court in fully discharging its functions in full compliance with the principle of complementarity.
I would like also to highlight that my country, Italy, looks with particular attention to the next ASP, where key elections for the future of the Court will take place. It is of the utmost importance that the new judges and the next Prosecutor are elected on the basis of competence, professionalism, strong experience in complex institutions and criminal trials and moral integrity. It is also important that they are representative of the world main legal traditions. The Court is at a critical juncture of its young history and the international community needs a strong institution to pursue the cause of justice and accountability for the most heinous crimes.
Finally, Madame President,
let me take this opportunity to thank The Netherlands for coordinating once again this year’s resolution. Given the peculiar circumstances, Italy shares the approach taken by the coordinator to propose a technical roll-over and it has co-sponsored the resolution.