26 May 2016 - Libya : cooperation with ICC must be deepened [fr]
Libya/ICC - Statement by Mr Tanguy Stehelin,Legal Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 26 May 2016
I thank Prosecutor Bensouda for her eleventh report and her briefing. I reaffirm the full support of France for the Prosecutor and the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a whole, in particular for the successful implementation of resolution 1970 (2011), referring the situation in Libya to that high-level legal jurisdiction.
A careful review of the eleventh report highlights a number of positive developments that we welcome. Paragraph 12 of the report indicates that cooperation with the Office of the Libyan General Prosecutor is producing positive results and that these early results, including the transmission of evidence by the Libyan judiciary, coupled with targeted investigations by Ms. Bensouda’s Office, have significantly enriched the inquiries and evidence in the file. Clearly, much remains to do to address the situation in Libya and, in the words of resolution 2259 (2015) itself,“to hold to account those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, including those involving sexual violence” (resolution 2259 (2015), para. 14).In that regard, France expresses its concern that the security situation in Libya does not allow the Prosecutor’s inquiries to unfold as they should. Despite the road ahead, the progress we have made deserves our full attention, and France continue’s to support Ms. Bensouda’s action to that end. Having made these general remarks, we would like to emphasize three key elements.
First is support for the Libyan authorities in the field of justice and rebuilding the rule of law. The Council has affirmed that the solution to the Libyan crisis can only be political. The efforts of Special Representative of the Secretary -General Martin Kobler, and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) in general, contribute not only to the objectives of peace and stability, but also to establishing the rule of law in Libya. The signing of the Libyan Political Agreement and the formation of the Presidency Council and the Government of National Accord represent major advances. The international community must continue to give its full support to the Presidency Council and the Government of National Accord, in line with the Vienna Ministerial Conference of 16 May, in the presence of Mr. Fayyez Al-Sarraj, Prime Minister of Libya.
Secondly, it is necessary to encourage the Libyan authorities to deepen their cooperation with the ICC. France and its partners stand ready to support the efforts of the Libyan authorities to build strong State institutions guaranteeing the rule of law. We must also encourage the Government of Mr. Al-Sarraj to give every assistance to the ICC, as called for in resolution 2259 (2015). The cooperation of Libya with the ICC is crucial to ending a long period of impunity in Libya and to allowing the Court to carry out the mandate entrusted to it by the Statute and the Council. It also contributes to building a judicial system that respects the rule of law in Libya.
The Court has jurisdiction to try Mr. Saif Al-Islam Al-Qadhafi and has requested that he be returned. France reiterates that Libya must comply with the judges’ decision, as the Pre-Trial Chamber recalled in its decision of 10 December 2014. France urges Libya to pursue consultations with the ICC so as to remove all obstacles to the execution of the decision to surrender Al-Qadhafi to the Court.
Regarding the case against Mr. Al-Senussi, the Prosecutor feels that she is not be able to say with certainty that new facts have emerged that could overturn the Trial Chamber’s reasons for concluding the inadmissibility of the case against Mr. Al-Senussi. We note that the Prosecutor is continuing her work of gathering information and that an appeal is also under way.
Thirdly, good cooperation requires a more integrated and coherent approach to justice matters on the part of the different States and institutions concerned. France recalls the importance it attaches to the obligation of States to cooperate, as provided for in article 86 of the Rome Statute, which addresses judicial cooperation with the Court in its investigations and prosecutions of crimes under its juridication.
France also shares the Prosecutor’s desire for an integrated approach at the national, regional and international levels that is firmly anchored in the principle of complementarity. As Prosecutor Bensouda recalled in her briefing, with respect to the principle of complementarity, it falls first and foremost to States to investigate and prosecute their own nationals who are implicated in the commission of crimes under the Rome Statute committed on their territory and/ or by their nationals. Such an approach can provide leverage at the national level and strengthen capacity-building, without which no stability is possible. My country is particularly committed to this approach, and the Prosecutor’s conclusion that the implementation of the 2013 memorandum on the division of labour concerning investigations in Libya helped facilitated her work confirms us in that general direction. This more integrated approach to justice issues at all levels is at the heart of a rebuilt judiciary that can serve as the foundation of sustainable stability.
The terms of the Prosecutor’s report and her requests to that end are futher appeals that we must pursue with resolve. France reiterates its full support in that regard.