Swedish Statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on ICC Libya
National statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the International Criminal Court (ICC) Libya, 2 November 2018, New York.
Thank you, Mr. President, and let me join others by congratulating you for the assumption of the presidency and of course assure you of Sweden’s full support during this month, and also take the opportunity to thank Bolivia for its successful presidency.
And thank you as well, Madam Prosecutor, for being with us again and for your informative briefing to the Council today.
The International Criminal Court plays an indispensable role in the pursuit of international justice and accountability. At a time when the Court and the rules-based international order itself are under increased pressure, renewed support to the ICC is crucial. We must all respect the integrity of the ICC. Not doing so undermines our commitment to ending impunity for atrocity crimes, and it’s worth reminding that the ICC is a court of last resort under the principle of complementarity. It only acts when national judiciaries are unable or unwilling to investigate and prosecute serious international crimes.
Therefore, the Council must take timely and effective measures to enable the Court to carry out its mandate. This is particularly true for the situation in Libya, where suspects remain at large despite arrest warrants issued against them.
We are gravely concerned about the violence and civilian casualties around Tripoli and Derna. The forced eviction of the Tawergha population, and the abductions of military, civil society, political and foreign targets are deeply worrisome as well. In addition, the treatment of international migrants in transit, including reports of killings, sexual violence and torture committed in detention centers is particularly concerning.
Violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights must be investigated and those responsible brought to justice.
We reiterate our strong support for the Office of the Prosecutor and commend its steadfast commitment to bringing justice to victims of serious international crimes in Libya. Despite the continued volatility of the security situation on the ground, the Office of the Prosecutor has continued to pursue its important task with great determination. We are pleased to see the inclusion of the gender perspective in the report, in line with the Office’s June 2014 Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-based crimes.
We also greatly appreciate the support that UNSMIL, SRSG Salamé and the Libyan Prosecutor-General’s office have provided. The efforts of international and regional organizations, including civil society, are also very important, and we are grateful for their unwavering commitment to serve and support the justice sector in Libya, despite the harsh circumstances.
We regret that seven years have passed since the arrest warrant against Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi was issued, and yet he remains at large. We also regret that the arrest warrants against Al-Werfalli and Al-Tuhamy likewise remain outstanding, since our last briefing on this matter in May this year. The reports of executions carried out by Al-Werfalli on multiple occasions, possibly amounting to war crime, are deeply disturbing.
We support the Prosecutor’s call on Libya to cooperate with the Office of the Prosecutor and immediately arrest and surrender all the suspects to the Court. We stress that cooperation with the Libyan Prosecutor-General’s office, Libyan authorities, State Parties, other UN Member States and other relevant entities is crucial in order to assist the Office of the Prosecutor in fulfilling its mandate.
The ICC referral is an essential part of the Council’s broader measures in relation to Libya, including sanctions. The Sanctions Committee and its Chair are currently on a mission to Libya and we will receive this mission’s input to the Council next week. It is important that the Council addresses the situation comprehensively. Accountability and strengthening the rule of law, in which the ICC plays an important role, is an essential component of the Council’s broader efforts towards peace and stability in Libya. Cooperation with the ICC therefore deserves this Council’s full support.
Finally, Mr. President,
I would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate Sweden’s sincere appreciation to the Court and its officials in all organs. Your work continues to make a significant contribution to accountability for perpetrators and justice for victims of serious crimes of international concern. We also extend our gratitude to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in its capacity as host nation of the Court.