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There is a relationship between respect for human rights and mass atrocities and war crimes. Respect for human rights is the best way to prevent these atrocities. It is important that today, the International Human Rights Day, reminds this body to deal with respect for human rights.
Another way to prevent mass atrocities is accountability. In this respect, Germany welcomes the progress made in the pursuit of justice for victims of most severe crimes and atrocities in Darfur. The Juba Peace Agreement signed in October not only paved the way towards sustainable peace in Sudan, but also opened the door to full and unlimited cooperation with the International Criminal Court and reaffirmed the Sudanese commitment to UNSC resolution 1593. Germany especially welcomes the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in relation to Darfur and, likewise, of a Special Court for Darfur Crimes. Germany encourages authorities in Sudan to implement concrete first steps to ensure accountability at the national level as soon as possible. Also, practical cooperation with the International Criminal Court remains important.
In line with the principle of complementarity, it is indeed the primary responsibility of States to investigate and prosecute crimes under the Rome Statute. Germany encourages Sudan to continue its efforts in support of justice for the victims. However, if crimes under international criminal law do not fall under the national jurisdiction, Sudan also needs to fully cooperate with the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC). These obligations were recently reaffirmed in the Juba Peace Agreement, specifically the obligation to arrest and surrender suspects for whom arrest warrants have been issued.
Finally, we once again call on UN member states, and particularly on the members of this Council, to keep up their support for the International Criminal Court as the key element in our common fight against impunity. We ask to respect the independence of the Court and to abstain from undue interference. We call on those who have not yet joined the Rome Statute to do so.