Introduction of draft General Assembly Resolution A/68/L.59, “Report of the International Criminal Court”
Introduction by His Excellency Karel van Oosterom, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands of draft General Assembly Resolution A/68/L.59, “Report of the International Criminal Court” 9 September 2014
Thank you Mr President,
I have the honour to introduce, under agenda item 75, the draft resolution A/68/L.59, entitled “Report of the International Criminal Court”. In addition to the six countries listed in document A/68/L.59, which contains the text of the draft resolution, 60 countries1."
This brings the total number of sponsors to 66.
On 31 October 2013, the President of the International Criminal Court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, presented the ninth annual report of the International Criminal Court 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 essential. With 122 States that have ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute, almost two thirds of the membership of the United Nations have shown their commitment towards universality. It is our sincere hope that others will join in the near future.
In the second place I would like to highlight that the situation with respect to the outstanding arrest warrants remains 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. Cooperation is crucial 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 endeavors 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.
Thirdly, 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.
Fourthly, my Government welcomes the recent visit of the United Nations Security Council to The Hague to meet amongst others with the International Criminal Court. Practical follow up of that visit to further enhance the relationship is called for.
Fifth and finally, 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. Peace and justice also serve as essential conditions that further the development of nations recovering from conflict: research has demonstrated that those nations that have come to terms with wrongdoings of the past are better equipped to make progress and advance than those that remain unable to deal with crimes from the past.
The Netherlands takes pride in being the host state to the International Criminal Court and many other leading international legal institutions. The Netherlands reiterates its commitment to be your partner in the pursuit of peace, justice and development. Three fundamental pillars that, as I mentioned before, are inseparable and that can not be attained in isolation. We stand ready to continue to work with you in achieving our common objectives in these areas.
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.
Allow me to thank all delegations which participated in the negotiations for their constructive cooperation and flexibility shown in the negotiations of this draft.
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.
1 Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Uruguay