Statement of Germany in the UNGA77 6th Committee (legal questions) relating to Crimes Against Humanity, October 10th, 2022.

10.10.2022 - Speech

The Statement was delivered by Michael Hasenau, Legal Adviser.

Germany aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

As a firm supporter of international criminal law, Germany attaches great importance to a Convention on Crimes against Humanity, based on the International Law Commission’s Draft Articles:

Crimes against Humanity are among the most serious crimes known to humankind. We are witnessing these atrocities only too often, if not daily. Germany attaches great importance to the project of a Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Humanity.

Since the concept of Crimes against Humanity is well accepted, there remains an obvious gap outside the ICC framework: There is currently no global convention governing the prevention and punishment of Crimes against Humanity, unlike with respect to genocide (the 1948 Genocide Convention) and war crimes (the 1949 Geneva Conventions). We need to close this gap in order to strengthen accountability and bring such crimes to justice universally. A new convention would complement treaty law on the most serious crimes and foster inter-state cooperation with regard to their investigation, prosecution and punishment.

We welcome the positive approach to the recommendations agreed within the International Law Commission, which enjoy wide support throughout the international community. Since concerns and suggestions by various partners have been thoroughly evaluated and discussed, it is time to move forward and to proceed with elaborating a convention on this solid basis.

At this stage, our aim is to proceed by setting up a structured process towards treaty negotiations based on the ILC’s draft articles. We are convinced that a convention would provide further impetus to the prevention of atrocity crimes. The draft articles will serve as a solid basis for successful negotiations on a convention in an inclusive manner.

Germany remains strongly committed to the fight against impunity for the most serious international crimes. We will fully support the elaboration of such a Convention, on the basis of the draft articles as recommended by the ILC, and will proactively contribute to the work of an Ad Hoc Committee to this end.

Thank you.

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