9 November 2016 - Much remains to be done to end impunity in Libya [fr]
Situation in Libya - Statement of Mr. Alexis Lamek,Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 9 November 2016
I would like to thank Prosecutor Bensouda for her twelfth report and her briefing. I would like to reaffirm France’s support for the Prosecutor and the International Criminal Court as a whole, and also to commend her on her successful implementation of resolution 1970 (2011), which referred the situation in Libya to the Court. The resolution also reflects the Council’s support of an institution with the most important of missions — to ensure that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, as the preamble to the Rome Statute has it, do not go unpunished.
Thanks to the reports, we are pleased to note the efforts made by the Office of the Prosecutor, working closely with the Libyan judicial authorities. Once again, we are well aware that insecurity and instability make the task of conducting ongoing and future investigations a particularly delicate one. The security threats must be carefully evaluated in order to decide whether investigations on the ground are possible. In view of the fact that the security conditions required for conducting investigations on the ground cannot always be met, France backs the Office’s efforts to do so remotely to the extent possible. In that regard, we fully support initiatives and programmes designed to facilitate the collection of evidence and testimony via secure channels.
There can be no question that much remains to be done to end impunity in Libya. That is why we believe it is more essential than ever to ensure that the Council continues to support the Court and mediation under the auspices of the United Nations, including by Mr. Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. We also offer our full support to the Presidential Council, led by Mr. Fayez Al-Sarraj, in order to help him deal with the challenges he is facing.
Besides those general comments, I would like to make three more specific ones.
First, France recalls that the Office’s ability to conduct investigations requires the full cooperation of all stakeholders. And for that cooperation to be effective, it must take an integrated approach and function at various levels, giving priority to the principle of complementarity.
Secondly, France supports the assertion in paragraphs 13 and 14 of the report that close cooperation with the Libyan authorities is essential to conducting investigations securely, as mandated by Rome Statute of the Court and by the Council. The memorandum of understanding of November 2013, on the sharing of responsibilities with the Libyan authorities, provides a framework for that. Similarly, we welcome the valuable document transmission and operational support provided by the Office of the Prosecutor General of Libya, which is also working in particularly difficult conditions. We are pleased that the meetings that took place in October explored new opportunities for mutual support.
With regard to the adoption of resolution 2291 (2016), of 13 June, which extended the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya to 15 December, France notes the appeal of the Office of the Prosecutor for all parties to cooperate and ensure the security of United Nations and associated personnel to also apply to officials of the International Criminal Court who are leading investigations in Libya.
Furthermore, as recalled in the report, the Security Council, in paragraph 5 of resolution 1970 (2011), urged all States and concerned regional and other international organizations to cooperate fully with the Court and the Prosecutor. France therefore considers it crucial to strengthen cooperation with all States, whether or not they are parties to the Rome Statute, so that requests made by the Office be responded to in the most efficient and timely manner. This required collaboration with the States of the region and beyond is all the more essential in the case of highly complex and transnational investigations, which require a coordinated strategy. The cooperation of the Jordanian and Tunisian authorities is particularly appreciated in this regard.
Our second comment concerns the elements of the report relating to ongoing investigations. France considers it crucial that Mr. Saif Al-Islam Al-Qadhafi be delivered promptly to the Court, pursuant to the request of its judges. France urges Libya to do everything it can to honour this obligation and put an end to the breach it is committing. Furthermore, in the case brought against Mr. Abdullah Al-Senussi, France notes that the Office, pending the full report of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya on the trial proceedings before a national court, continues to believe that no new facts cripple the evidence on which the Pre-Trial Chamber I relied to declare the inadmissibility of the case before the Court. Finally, France notes the Office’s intention to file applications for additional arrest warrants shortly.
Thirdly and finally, France would like to review the future plans outlined by the Office of the Prosecutor in the report. We note the Office’s wish to make Libya a priority in 2017 and significantly expand its investigations into crimes committed in Libya since 2011, including crimes alleged committed in Libya by Da’esh, Ansar Al-Sharia and other terrorist groups.
What we see in Libya shows how the absence of justice breeds violence and makes reconciliation more difficult. This is reality that we must keep in mind. It forces us all to find ways to arrive at concrete responses. France, which cooperates with the Court without reservation, considers that this requirement can be met only with the Court’s effective functioning and the support of the Security Council in the event of non-cooperation.