Security Council Briefing: ICC Sudan

Statement by H.E. Lise Gregoire-van Haaren,
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations

New York, 14 December 2018

Mr. President,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands joins others in welcoming the Prosecutor back to the Security Council and thanks Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda for her briefing and her report.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands wishes to avail itself of this opportunity to reiterate its full support to the ICC. This institution was created to strengthen international rule of law by bringing those responsible for gross human rights violations and international crimes to justice.

The International Criminal Court is the only permanent international court that can judge the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. We express our gratitude to the continued commitment of the prosecutor and her office whilst working in often difficult conditions.

Mr. President, please allow me to focus on three important aspects:

  • Situation in Darfur;
  • Accountability;
  • Cooperation.

1. Situation in Darfur

Mr. President, the Kingdom of the Netherlands welcomes the decrease in fighting in Darfur and the level of violence against civilians in recent months. However, we remain deeply concerned about continued human rights violations by several parties to the conflict including the Government of Sudan. And we are extremely concerned about continuous reports regarding sexual and gender-based violence, arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial killings.

At the same time the situation with respect to the 2.1 million internally displaced persons seems unchanged. We underline that any return should be safe, voluntary and in accordance with international law.

We remind this Council that charges in the Sudan case include genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The severity of these charges led this Council to refer the situation in Sudan to the ICC and calls for proper cooperation and support of the Court to ensure it can execute the mandate it has been given by this Council.

2. Accountability

This leads me to my second point: accountability. Mr. President, accountability for international crimes and gross human rights violations is not only vital to justice, it is the only way that leads to sustainable peace.

Ultimately it is about bringing justice to the victims by ensuring accountability of the perpetrators. The people of Darfur, including the ones present here today, deserve this.  

And gross human rights violations are also a trigger to conflict and need to be addressed to ensure any form of sustainable peace. If we do not take this seriously and act upon this belief, opportunism will continue to prevail and international rule of law will continue to be undermined. We need to end the climate of impunity.

It is this Council’s responsibility to stop such developments and ensure the effectiveness of the decisions it has made in the past. That is the only way to ensure international peace and security.

3. Cooperation

Mr. President, my third point on cooperation with the Court. In 2005 this Council unanimously referred the situation in Sudan to the International Criminal Court.

Today over thirteen years after the adoption of resolution 1593, all suspects of this case remain at large while the charges remain in effect. Paragraph 2 of this resolution requires the Government of Sudan and all other parties to the conflict to cooperate fully. It also calls upon all States and regional and international organizations to cooperate fully with the Court and the Prosecutor. The Court is heavily dependent on cooperation to function effectively.

It is unacceptable that fugitives of the Court continue to travel unhindered. We align ourselves with the Prosecutor in urging those States who invite and host suspects on their territory to consult with the Court.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands will continue to call upon all states to meet their obligations under resolution 1593, to cooperate fully with the Court and fulfill their international obligations. And we urge this Council to continue to work on ways to address cases of non-cooperation with the Court.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Mr. President, we remind our fellow Council members that we bear a shared responsibility in the area of cooperation to ensure that the International Criminal Court can execute the mandate this Council decided to give thirteen years ago.

Let me reiterate our great thanks to the Prosecutor and her office for their tremendous effort under difficult circumstances.

Thank you.

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