9 October 2012 - Security Council - Special Court for Sierra Leone - Statement by Mr Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

Allow me at
the outset to thank Ms. Fisher, President of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the Prosecutor of the Court
for their briefings, and, more generally, the entire
Special Court team for the job that they have done. I
also welcome the presence here and the statement made
by Mrs. Ebun Jusu, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs
and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone.
France endorses the presidential statement drafted
by the United Kingdom to commend the work of the

The seriousness of the crimes perpetrated during the
civil war called for a response commensurate with the
gravity of the violations committed. That is why France
has provided, since the inception of the Court in 2002,
its full political support for the actions of this criminal
court, which was jointly established by the Government
of Sierra Leone and the United Nations.

As we all know, the Court will conclude its work in
September 2013. Its legacy is vast: the indictment of a
head of State while still in office and his arrest, at a time
many deemed inappropriate, have shown that arresting
those who massacre civilians so as to seize or remain
in power is indeed possible and effective, and that this
serves the cause of peace and justice.

That is a lesson that can be applied to other cases,
such as that of Bosco Ntaganda, of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, who formerly was a pillar of the
Congrès national pour la défense du people but today is
a henchman of the M-23 movement. Among the historic
decisions of the Court, we note the judgement of Charles
Taylor, of 30 May 2012, on which the Council has
expressed its views. We welcome the jurisprudence of
the Court on sensitive issues, including the recruitment
of child soldiers and forced marriage.

The capacity of the Court to transfer its activities
to a residual mechanism and to national courts will also
be valuable as an example for other special courts. We
noted the particular concerns expressed with respect to
ensuring the long-term protection of witnesses. That is a
key concern for all of the international criminal courts.
Lastly, we wish to highlight the assessment,
financed by the European Union and described in the
report, which underscores that more than 75 per cent
of the people of Sierra Leone and of Liberia believe
that the Tribunal has advanced the cause of justice and
that an even greater number believe that the Court has
served the cause of peace. These are numbers that we
will need to bear in mind when, in several days, we
will hold our debate on international justice. When the Security Council enables justice to take its course by
doing what is necessary and by ensuring full compliance
with its resolutions, justice, in turn, can serve the cause
of stability.

Today we have in place a standing system of justice
with the International Criminal Court (ICC), which the
Council can resort to, under Chapter VII of the Charter,
at any time and on any situation. This makes the creation
of new special courts obsolete in the areas of the ICC’s
jurisdiction: war crimes, crimes against humanity and

The inception and the activities of the Court have
illustrated the at times tragic interplay of the history of
the neighbouring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone
and the manner in which the fragility of one country
can affect another. But it also shows how the United
Nations can contribute, by means of holistic strategies,
to putting an end to crises. The Security Council was for
instance able to assess, during its visit to Sierra Leone
last May, the progress made: the holding of elections
in November, democratic oversight, non-interference
on the part of the army, the success of demobilization
efforts and economic growth. There is no doubt that the
Court has also contributed to those developments.

Dernière modification : 26/02/2015

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