Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the representative of the European Union and I wish to provide some additional remarks in my national capacity.
At the outset, I wish to thank the President of the International Criminal Court for presenting a very informative and comprehensive report on the activities carried out by the Court over the past year.
Italy has always been in the forefront of the development of an effective international criminal justice system, and it considers the Court an indispensable institution and a bulwark against impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
As a strong supporter of the rules-based international order, Italy is fully committed to supporting the Court, promoting accountability and upholding the cause of justice, especially in a time in which the basic principles of international law, including humanitarian law, are blatantly disregarded.
We therefore welcome the significant progress made by the Court in a number of investigations and proceedings, as highlighted in the report, and congratulates the President and all the Court’s organs for their work.
States Parties can – and must – contribute to consolidate this momentum. That implies a renewed commitment to preserving the integrity of the Rome Statute, promoting its universality, respecting the independence of the Court and ensuring that it is well equipped to carry out its mandate.
In this regard, we note with concern the serious challenges that the Court continues to face in relation to its requests for cooperation, including for the execution of its outstanding arrest warrants, and we call on States parties to comply with their obligations under the Rome Statute. We also stress the obligations under international law upon all UN Member States, in particular in situations referred by the Security Council.
Italy will continue to do its part in supporting the Court. This includes the exceptional voluntary contribution – both financial and in terms of personnel – that we have committed to provide in order to assist the Court’s investigations, while fully respecting the fundamental principles of independence and impartiality.
On another note, I wish to recall that last January Italy deposited the instrument of ratification of the Kampala Amendments, which strengthen the capacity of the Rome Statute system to promote accountability, including for the crime of aggression.
Let me also mention that on March the 2nd, alongside more than 40 States, Italy referred the situation in Ukraine to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
We are also following with great attention the ongoing reform process, which offers an important opportunity to enhance the Court’s delivery of justice, while ensuring full compliance with the principles enshrined in the Rome Statute.
We are glad to note that during the reporting period, approximately 13,000 victims participated in cases before the Court, with 2,300 new victim application forms. Italy welcomes the prominence that reparations to victims are gaining in the Court’s work, as we are convinced that the focus on victims is an essential element of international criminal justice. For this reason, also this year, Italy has decided to contribute to the Trust Fund for Victims.
By holding the perpetrators of international crimes accountable and repairing the harm suffered by victims and communities, not only does the Court deliver justice, but it also contributes to creating the conditions for sustainable peace. Today, we believe this link needs to be reaffirmed, as there can be no lasting peace without justice.
Finally, Italy would like to thank The Netherlands for facilitating the negotiations over the this year’s resolution, which we have co-sponsored.
Thank you, Mr. President.