Delivered by Belgium
Check against delivery
I would like to make the following statement today 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 on the situation in Darfur to welcome the official visit in October by a delegation of the ICC Prosecutor to Khartoum. The engagement of the Sudanese officials with the ICC Prosecutor, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, for the first time in Sudan to discuss the Court’s investigation into the most serious crimes of international concern is an important step in ensuring justice is delivered for the people of Darfur and we commend the Government of Sudan for delivering this progress.
In addition, we welcome the Government of Sudan, the Sudanese Revolutionary Front and the Sudanese Liberation Army – Minni Minawi commitments to full and unlimited cooperation with the ICC in accordance with Security Council resolution 1593, and as set out in the Juba Peace Agreement signed on 3 October 2020. We wish to encourage the Sudanese authorities to build on this important development and continue their commendable efforts in support of justice for victims with further steps to implement such cooperation. In that regard, continuing to facilitate safe and secure access, swiftly, to Sudanese territory by ICC staff is particularly important to conduct the Court’s investigations, especially in connection with the case of Mr. Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman following his surrender to The Hague in June this year.
We would also like to use the opportunity of today’s briefing to reconfirm our unwavering support for the Court as an independent and impartial judicial institution.
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.