8 May 2017 - Libya: Much is left to be done to end impunity [fr]
Libya / ICC - Statement by Mrs Sheraz Gasri, Legal Adviser of the Permanent Representation of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 8 May 2017
On behalf of my delegation, I congratulate you, Mr. President, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. I thank the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Ms. Bensouda, for the presentation of her thirteenth report. I wish to take this opportunity to affirm the full support of France for the Prosecutor and her team, for the International Criminal Court as a whole and for the full implementation of resolution 1970.
From the various reports by Ms. Bensouda, we have taken note of the prevailing insecurity and instability, which have made it increasingly difficult for her to continue her investigations. We welcome the support of the Prosecutor-General of Libya, which makes it possible to find innovative solutions and to continue investigations remotely when the necessary conditions for on-site visits are not always in place. France supports efforts to facilitate the gathering of evidence and the compilation of testimonies through secure channels.
Much remains to be done to end impunity in Libya. That is why France believes that it has never been more essential that the Security Council lend it support to the Court, as well as to the efforts of the United Nations and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, to reach a political compromise in Libya. In that regard, we welcome the Secretary-General’s personal efforts. We also extend our full support to Prime Minister Faiez Mustafa Serraj and the Presidency Council to make institutions more efficient and fully representative. In addition to those general comments, we wish to make three specific remarks.
First, France recalls that the continuation of the investigations by the Office of the Prosecutor requires the full cooperation of all stakeholders. In order to be effective, that cooperation must be carried out in an integrated way, while giving full weight to the principle of complementarity.
In particular, close cooperation with Libyan authorities is essential to carry out investigations in complete security, in accordance with the mandate given to the Court by the Security Council. In that regard, I would like to recall the November 2013 memorandum of understanding on the sharing of responsibilities with the Libyan authorities, which provides a relevant framework.
Furthermore, France believes it is essential to strengthen cooperation with all States, whether or not they are parties to the Rome Statute, in accordance with resolution 1970 (2011), to ensure that requests made by the Office of the Prosecutor can be answered in the most efficient and timely manner possible. This cooperation is all the more important in the context of highly complex and transnational investigations, which require a coordinated strategy. In this regard, we welcome the cooperation of the Tunisian, Dutch, British and Italian authorities, which was noted by the Prosecutor in her statement.
Our second remark relates to the elements in the report related to the ongoing investigations.
France believes it is essential that Mr. Saif Al-Islam Al-Qadhafi be surrendered to the Court, in accordance with the judges’ request. France calls on Libya to do everything possible to honour this obligation and put an end to the situation of non-compliance in which it finds itself. We take note of the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber I, in which the Chamber found that the Court was under an obligation to comply with requests for cooperation with respect to the only recognized Government and not with respect to unrecognized entities, such as representatives of the Libyan State. We therefore call upon all entities concerned to allow the Government of National Accord to respond without delay to the Court’s requests.
With regard to the Abdullah Al-Senussi case, France takes note of the assessment by the Prosecutor in the report on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya issued in cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. France is pleased that the Prosecutor is closely following this procedure to determine if new elements are likely to challenge, once again, the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber I to declare the case inadmissible before the International Criminal Court.
With regard to the case of Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled, we take note of the Prosecutor’s decision to release the 2013 arrest warrant and call on Libya and all States to cooperate in order to bring the individual concerned before the Court without delay.
Thirdly, France wishes to revisit the views outlined in the report of the Office of the Prosecutor. We note the Office’s desire to continue to prioritize Libya in 2017 and to significantly expand its investigations into crimes committed since 2011. We note the Office’s desire to investigate crimes allegedly committed by Da’esh, Ansar Al-Sharia and other terrorist groups, but also atrocities perpetrated throughout the country, namely, in Benghazi, and other crimes related to trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants and refugees.
In conclusion, what we see in Libya shows us how the absence of justice fuels violence and makes reconciliation more difficult. That is why the Security Council unanimously referred the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court, as was recalled earlier. We must provide the Court with the resources necessary to achieve its mission. France, which cooperates unreservedly with the Court, believes that this is only possible with the support of the Security Council, including in cases of non-cooperation.