13 december 2016 - Sudan : Justice must be done and guilt assigned [fr]
Sudan/ICC - Statement by Mr. Alexis Lamek, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 13 december 2016
I, too, should like to begin by thanking the Prosecutor for her report and for her presence here.
The goal of combating impunity, as set out in resolution 1593 (2005), remains as necessary as ever. The numerous acts of violence that the Prosecutor lists in her report remain unacceptable, and the reference to allegations of the use of the chemical weapons in the report, which of course must be investigated, should push the Security Council to ensure greater coherence and determination in the implementation of its own decisions. In that context, it is more important than ever that justice be done and guilt assigned so as to prevent and deter any recurrence of such acts. That is why France deplores the fact that the arrest warrants issued by the Court have not been executed.
The Council and the international community are fully aware of the decisions that need to be taken to restore stability and peace in Darfur.
First, the resolution of the conflict must be political. It must involve the Government and the rebel groups. We regret in that respect the absence of any genuine progress in establishing an inclusive process allowing a sustainable peace to be achieved. France supports the efforts of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel to that end.
Secondly, the protection of civilians must be ensured. It is important to recall here that the primary responsibility for protecting the population lies with the Sudanese Government, and to call on all parties to the conflict to respect international law, in particular international humanitarian law. We regret that the Prosecutor’s report once again lists restrictions on access for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) as well as obstacles to its functioning. The Sudanese authorities must provide full cooperation so as to allow the Operation to discharge its mandate.
Thirdly, safe, immediate and obstacle-free humanitarian access to the civilian population and displaced persons must be guaranteed.
Fourthly, and finally, it remains key that the perpetrators of the crimes committed be prosecuted and brought to justice. France reiterates in this respect the importance of the obligation for cooperation by all States parties to the International Criminal Court and by all States Members of the United Nations with the Court, in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the Council. Without such cooperation, the prosecution of the most serious crimes by the Court will remain a dead letter.
This obligation falls primarily on the Sudan, which must implement the arrest warrants against its nationals for crimes committed on its territory and cooperate with the Court, as demanded by resolution 1593 (2005). The States parties to the Rome Statute also have a key role to play with regard to their statutory obligation to cooperate with the Court and to execute arrest warrants when the persons concerned are present on their territory. We regret that in recent months this obligation has not been respected by certain States, and we are grateful to the Office of the Prosecutor for its follow-up on this major challenge.
France regularly reiterates, in the context of its bilateral relations with those States and with the Sudan, the importance it attaches to the fight against impunity and its support for the Court, and it calls on those States to uphold their international commitments in terms of cooperation with the Court.
In that context, the responsibility of the Council is clear, and it is two-pronged. Cooperation with the Court must be made effective, and it must be ensured that arrest warrants are executed. As the Prosecutor stressed, it is up to the Council to respond to cases of non-cooperation with the Court. In that regard, we are ready to consider modalities that would allow action by the Council.
It is also vital that the Assembly of States parties remain mobilized on cases of non-cooperation with the Court, as must international organizations. Here it is necessary to limit contacts with persons who are subject to arrest warrants to those who are deemed essential, in line with the policy of the Secretary-General as defined in his two directives of April 2013. France reiterates the importance of the pursuit by the United Nations as whole of the implementation of those directives and of the application of the relevant provisions of resolution 1593 (2005).Finally, we should continue efforts to ensure a cessation of violence against civilians and the quest for an inclusive political solution. That is the only possible way to achieve peace and stability in Darfur in the long-term. To that end, UNAMID has a significant role to play and must accomplish its mandate. It is essential that free, unrestricted access to the entire Darfur territory be granted to it. We will give particular attention to that point during the next UNAMID mandate extension.