Libya/ICC: A lasting peace in Libya requires justice for the victims [fr]
Statement by Ms Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 8 May 2019
I would like to begin by thanking Ms. Bensouda for her detailed report and briefing. As we have done every time she has appeared before the Council, we would like to reaffirm France’s full support for the International Criminal Court (ICC). I would also like to take this opportunity to stress that the role of the Court is as important today as it was yesterday, given the difficult context for multilateralism in general and for human rights and international humanitarian law in particular. The Court must be able to act and exercise its prerogatives without impediment, independently and impartially, within the framework defined by the Rome Statute. In that regard, France affirms its support for the implementation of resolution 1970 (2011), which referred the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court. We believed then, and still believe today, that a lasting peace in Libya requires justice for the victims, and the ICC continues to play a key role in that regard.
The current fighting in Libya is undermining the peace efforts undertaken with the support of the United Nations generally, and the Council in particular. It is civilians who are the main victims. It is therefore urgent to ensure that the parties reach a ceasefire as soon as possible, with an immediate halt to military operations and effective de-escalation. Many terrorist and criminal groups are taking advantage of the situation to try to regain ground, and they include individuals who are listed by the Council, which is absolutely unacceptable. We must not lose sight of the need to resume the dialogue. The parties have made commitments, notably in Paris, Palermo and at the end of February in Abu Dhabi, on an initial agreement that provides for the unification of the country’s institutions and the formation of a transitional Government tasked with restoring basic services for the people and preparing for elections. It is therefore now crucial to re-establish that dialogue under the auspices of the United Nations and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, whom we fully support.
We must maintain the perspective and momentum for the political settlement, because, as we know, only a political solution can put an end to this conflict.
Beyond those general observations, we would like to make three more specific comments. First, the Office of the Prosecutor’s ability to continue its investigations requires the full cooperation of all stakeholders. In that regard it is essential for the Court to have the cooperation of the Libyan authorities, including for the execution of arrest warrants. It is crucial that all the States concerned, whether or not they are parties to the Rome Statute, strengthen their collaboration in order to provide the necessary support to the Office of the Prosecutor for as long as it is needed, and in that regard, France welcomes the effective cooperation that a number of States and organizations, including INTERPOL, have given to the Office of the Prosecutor. I also want to express my delegation’s appreciation for the continued support and cooperation provided by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya.
Secondly, I want to reiterate how important it is to ensure that all of the most serious crimes committed in Libya since 2011 and still being committed today are investigated and prosecuted, including crimes committed by Da’esh.
In that regard, and this is my third and final point, we commend the Prosecutor’s focus on human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants, which constitute a direct threat to peace and stability in Libya. The findings in the reports mentioned by the Prosecutor are illuminating and disturbing as to the seriousness and extent of such crimes. We welcome the rigorous approach taken by the Office, including its role in advancing investigations and prosecutions at the national level. We hope that it will be effective in combating impunity for crimes committed against migrants.
In conclusion, the violent, fragmented situation in Libya throws the vicious circle of impunity and instability into stark relief. If we are to put an end to it, we must deal with the political, security and social challenges that Libya is facing. Those challenges cannot be overcome without the effective assistance of the Court and the Council’s support. France continues to be ready to act in that respect.