ICC: Agenda item 74 Report on the International Criminal Court.
Statement by H.E Karel van Oosterom at the 95th plenary session of the 67th UN General Assembly on agenda item 74 Report on the International Criminal Court.
I have the honour to introduce, under agenda item 74, draft resolution A/67/L.76, entitled “Report of the International Criminal Court”. In addition to the 41 countries listed in document A/67/L.76, which contains the text of the draft resolution, the following countries have indicated their wish to be included as sponsors of the resolution:
This brings the total number of sponsors to 59.
At the outset I would like to thank Ambassador Nishida, Permanent Representative of Japan, and his team for having coordinated this resolution during the 66th session of the General Assembly.
On 1 November 2012, the President of the International Criminal Court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, presented the eighth annual report of the International Criminal Court (A/67/308) to this body. We had a very constructive and in-depth debate then, and I would like to highlight a few elements.
First, in order to ensure the Court’s success, universal adherence to the Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court remains crucial. We are therefore pleased to welcome Cote d’Ivoire as the latest country that has become a party to the Rome Statute, bringing the total number of States that have ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute to 122. It is our sincere hope that others will join in the near future.
Secondly, the International Criminal Court’s annual report and the debate in the General Assembly also underlined the role of the Court in our common efforts to build an international community characterized not only by the rule of law and respect for human rights, but also by peace and security. Sustainable peace cannot be achieved if perpetrators of the most serious crimes are not brought to justice. Peace and justice are complementary requirements.
In the third place I would like to highlight the fact that, despite the recent successful arrest of an accused, the situation with respect to the outstanding arrest warrants is deeply troubling. The Court remains reliant on State cooperation in the enforcement of its orders and decisions. If States do not provide the cooperation necessary for the Court’s functioning in accordance with their legal obligations, it will not be able to fulfil its mandate, and impunity will continue to flourish. The cooperation of States, international organizations and civil society is essential to the Court’s functioning, not only in relation to the arrest and surrender of accused persons, but also in relation to the provision of evidence, the protection and relocation of victims and witnesses, and the enforcement of sentences. We are therefore pleased that the United Nations has continued over the past year to assist the Court in its endeavours through implementation of the Relationship Agreement. We
also welcome the assistance provided so far by States parties and non-States parties and call on all States to continue to support the Court’s efforts in that respect.
Last but not least, I would like to remind that the hallmark of the Court is its independent judicial nature. At the same time, that judicial institution operates within the political world and it needs States to not just cooperate with it, but also to respect, to protect and to enhance its judicial independence.
Allow me now to turn to the draft resolution itself, which serves three main objectives.
First, it provides political support for the International Criminal Court as an organization and for its mandate, its aims and the work it carries out.
Secondly, it underlines the importance of the relationship between the Court and the United Nations on the basis of the Relationship Agreement as both the United Nations and the ICC have an equally central role in enhancing the system of international criminal justice.
Lastly, the draft resolution serves to remind States and international and regional
organizations of the need to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in carrying out its tasks.
The draft resolution reflects, through the introduction of new paragraphs, the increased interaction between the United Nations and the International Criminal Court, as demonstrated in the frequent references to the role and the work of the International Criminal Court in the official records of the United Nations.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the constructive spirit that has characterised the manner in which the consultations leading to the draft resolution were conducted.
The Netherlands hopes that the draft resolution will be adopted by consensus and that it will lead to even greater support for the Court in the fight against impunity and its attempts to hold the perpetrators of serious crimes accountable for their actions.