UN Security Council Press Stakeout on the International Criminal Court, November 10, 2020

10.11.2020 - Press release

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Delivered by Belgium

I would like to make the following statement on behalf of the ten Members of the Security Council that are States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Tunisia and the United Kingdom) as well as three incoming Members of the Security Council that are also States Parties to the Rome Statute (Ireland, Mexico and Norway):

We, States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), would like to use the opportunity of today’s briefing of the ICC Prosecutor to the United Nations Security Council to reconfirm our unwavering support for the Court as an independent and impartial judicial institution.

The ICC, as the world’s first and only permanent international criminal court, is an integral part of the multilateral architecture upholding the rule-of-law. It is a central institution in the fight against impunity and the pursuit of justice, which are essential components of sustainable peace, security and reconciliation.

We will continue to respect our cooperation obligations under the Rome Statute and encourage all States to fully support the Court for it to carry out its important mandate of ensuring justice for the victims of the most serious crimes under international law. We recall that the ICC is a court of last resort, which anchors a system of justice for serious international crimes rooted in national courts. National authorities have the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute Rome Statute crimes. The ICC only steps in when States are unwilling or unable to genuinely carry out national proceedings.

Following the statements of the President of the Assembly of States Parties, issued on 11 June and 2 September 2020, we reiterate our commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and to preserve its integrity and independence undeterred by any measures or threats against the Court, its officials and those cooperating with it. We note that sanctions are a tool to be used against those responsible for the most serious crimes, not against those seeking justice. Any attempt to undermine the independence of the Court should not be tolerated.

The ICC embodies our collective commitment to fight impunity for the most serious crimes under international law. By giving our full support to the Court and promoting its universal membership, we defend the progress we have made together towards an international rules-based order, of which international justice is an indispensable pillar.

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