Thank you, Mr. President. First, allow me to congratulate you for assuming the presidency of the Council this month and assure you of my delegation’s full cooperation. I’d also like to express sincere appreciation to Ambassador Rosenthal and the delegation of Guatemala for their excellent leadership of the Council last month.
Let me also thank Ms. Bensouda for her briefing and welcome her today as she provides her first report to this Council as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. The United States looks forward to continuing our active engagement with the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) and the ICC, consistent with our law and policy, to advance accountability for the most serious crimes of international concern.
Mr. President, the United States congratulates the government and people of Libya on the positive steps they have taken to put in place a democratically-elected leadership, including the recent formation of a new Cabinet. This is the first time an elected body in Libya has formed a government, and we continue to support the Libyan people as they work diligently to build a country that is representative of all its citizens and fully respects the rule of law. We look forward to working closely with the new government, including Minister of Justice Marghani. As Libyans chart the country’s future, justice and accountability issues will remain central to the success of Libya’s transition and essential to securing lasting peace.
In this context, we continue to urge Libya to adhere to its international obligations, including under Resolution 1970, and continue its cooperation with the ICC. The cases involving Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abudullah al-Senussi will unfold against the backdrop of Libya’s transition to democracy. This is an important moment both for Libya and the ICC, as they work together within their respective roles towards fostering and ensuring accountability during this historic transition.
We recall our comments last month at the Council debate on peace and justice and the role of the ICC that the Council’s referral of situations to the ICC and subsequent developments highlight why we should consider ways to improve cooperation and communication between the Security Council and the Court. For example, the Council should continue to monitor the developments in situations it refers to the Court and the challenges that may be faced by ICC personnel in conducting their work. States should look for appropriate ways to ensure that Court staff are able to undertake their work safely and effectively.
Further, we note that the Prosecutor’s statement that many requests for assistance to a variety of parties have yet to be fully executed. Resolution 1970 decided that Libyan authorities shall cooperate fully with and provide necessary assistance to the Court and Prosecutor, and also urged all other states and concerned organizations to cooperate fully. The United States has endeavored to respond positively to informal requests for assistance in the Libya situation, consistent with our law and policy.
We also remain deeply concerned by allegations of rape and sexual violence documented by the UN Commission of Inquiry, and look forward to further reports by the OTP about its efforts in this regard.
Mr. President, regardless of the outcome of the admissibility proceedings before the ICC, Libya will need to bolster domestic accountability structures and processes to create a robust and fair system of justice at home. After forty years of a dictatorship, no one has a better appreciation for the importance of due process and rule of law in Libya than Libyans themselves. The new government must work to combat impunity for perpetrators of serious crimes, regardless of their affiliation or the nature of their crimes; to ensure a comprehensive program of transitional justice consistent with Libya’s international human rights obligations; and to commit to measures aimed at assisting victims.
The United States stands ready to assist Libya as it works to reform its justice sector, strengthen the rule of law, and advance human rights and international law. We look forward to working with the international community to ensure adequate support to Libya as it undertakes these critical tasks.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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