Statement at the UNSC Briefing on the ICC - Libya
Statement09 November 2022
Thank you Madam President. Prosecutor Khan, thank you for your report and briefing this morning.
I also welcome the Permanent Representative of Libya to today’s meeting.
Without accountability for international crimes, even the strongest democracy will wither in time. Impunity undermines efforts to resolve conflict, perpetuating cycles of violence.
Accountability for atrocity crimes should therefore be central to Libya’s pursuit of peace and democracy. Regrettably, however, impunity continues to prevail.
Ireland notes with concern the most recent report of the Fact Finding Mission on Libya, which highlights persistent impunity, including for serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. It also reports on ‘grave and endemic sexual and gender-based violence.’
The report also finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity are being committed against migrants, and against those in detention centres.
This reinforces Ireland’s view that the Security Council’s referral of the Libyan situation to the ICC is critical not just for accountability for international crimes, but also for long-term peace and stability in the country.
We know that the operational, security and political environment in which the Prosecutor’s office continues to operate in Libya is very challenging.
We are therefore pleased with the progress achieved by the Prosecutor to implement his renewed investigative strategy over the past six months, and the transparency with which he has documented these steps.
We welcome the maintenance of a constant presence by the Office of the Prosecutor in the region over the reporting period, and the provision of additional resources to its investigative efforts, including experts on sexual and gender-based violence.
These actions have enabled the Team to increase their contact with victims, survivors, and witnesses, as well as accelerate evidence collection efforts.
We also commend the Office’s efforts to coordinate investigative activity with third states and international agencies.
Cooperation with the Joint Team investigating crimes against migrants has already yielded tangible results, with the Office of the Prosecutor assisting in investigations that have seen two suspects extradited from Ethiopia to Italy and the Netherlands.
We also wish to acknowledge the continued assistance provided by UNSMIL to the Office, particularly with respect to the missions of both the Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor.
However, more progress is necessary.
We urge Libya to comply with its obligation to cooperate with the Court, including in relation to the execution of the outstanding arrest warrant against Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi.
Prosecutor Khan, the fact that you are joining us today from Libya is a welcome sign of positive cooperation with the Libyan authorities.
We acknowledge the willingness of senior political and prosecutorial figures to engage with your Office, while remaining cognisant of the need for sensitivity to victims’ concerns.
But we need to see more concrete action.
We therefore call on the Libyan authorities to provide access to documentation relevant to the Office of the Prosecutor’s investigations, and ensure prompt responses to all requests for assistance submitted by the Office.
We also support the Prosecutor’s call for prompt responses to all visa applications submitted by the Office and engagement with relevant technical authorities in Libya, including those involved in forensics and crime scene analysis.
Before concluding, Madam President, I want to recall that earlier this year, Ireland, together with 11 co-sponsors, hosted an Arria-formula meeting on strengthening the relationship between the Court and this Council.
In September, we published a Chair’s summary of this meeting, proposing a range of possible ways to enhance cooperation between these two bodies.
If the Council is serious about maintaining international peace and security, it needs to foster an effective working relationship with the Court. We therefore urge all here today to consider ways of acting on the recommendations in this document.
Victims and survivors everywhere, including in Libya, deserve nothing less.
Thank you Madam President.