UN Security Council Arria-formula meeting
on the relationship between the ICC and the Security Council in the lead up to the 20th Anniversary of the Entry into Force of the Rome Statute
Delivered by Mr. Jonas G. Allansson, Deputy Permanent Representative of Iceland
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden - and my own country - Iceland.
We mark the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Rome Statute and thereby the establishment of the International Criminal Court. We once again reiterate our strong support for the Court and its important contribution to the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community - war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and the crime of aggression.
We hope that a dialogue-based approach and a well-managed and results-oriented Court will encourage more States to join the Rome Statute and make it truly universal.
The Court’s continued relevance is evident as unfortunately, the most heinous crimes are continuously committed across the world. Accountability for all perpetrators must be ensured. Victims and survivors deserve justice and support.
Russia’s illegal military aggression against Ukraine has shown the need for unified support and a collective international response to atrocities. We were pleased that so many States parties decided to join the referral of the situation in Ukraine to the ICC. We have witnessed indiscriminate military attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including on schools and hospitals. We have seen widespread killings of civilians and other protected persons as well as sexual and gender-based violence, and numerous other violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law. Such acts may amount to war crimes, and perpetrators must be held to account. We will continue working towards this shared goal of ending impunity and support and engage in initiatives in this regard, including within the Group of Friends of Accountability following the Aggression against Ukraine.
The relevance of the Court is in no way contained to the situation in Ukraine. The Court’s large number of ongoing investigations all require our immediate attention. Lack of accountability anywhere sends the wrong signal everywhere - it undermines our international legal order, and fuels further atrocities. The Nordic countries are committed to ensuring sufficient resources for the Court. While the regular budget must remain the primary source of funding for its mandated activities, we continue to explore options of additional support to the work of the Court.
We welcome the focus of today’s meeting on the relationship between the ICC and the Security Council. It is no secret that the relationship is a complex one.
The Security Council is entrusted with the power and the duty to preserve international peace and security. Without justice, peace remains fragile and the risk of relapse to full scale warfare high. Without justice, victims and survivors are left to suffer, without a voice or reparation.
We fully support increasing the cooperation between the Security Council and the ICC in relation to existing referrals from the Council. The ICC Prosecutor has stated he will prioritize referrals by the Security Council. The Security Council should render equal support and recognition to the ICC. The Security Council can play an important role in supporting the execution of arrest warrants issued by the ICC and freezing assets of persons under charges. Enhanced cooperation would provide a better basis for future referrals, as many atrocities still escape the jurisdiction of the ICC. United Nations should also share the financial burden of situations referred by the Council, as foreseen in Article 115 of the Rome Statute.
Let me conclude by renewing our commitment to the fight against impunity. Victims and survivors everywhere depend on us.
I thank you.