December 16, 2017

Statement by Ms. Vassiliki Krasa, Attaché, on the Report of the ICC, 5 November 2015

Report of the International Criminal Court (1 August 2014 – 31 July 2015)  

Plenary Session of the United Nations General Assembly

At the outset, we would like to congratulate President Fernández de Gurmendi for her election as President of the Court, and to thank her for her comprehensive presentation of the report, covering the period from 1 August 2014 to 31 July 2015. My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and would like in its national capacity to deliver additional remarks.

The Republic of Cyprus is pleased to participate in today’s consideration of the annual report of the International Criminal Court (A/70/350). The Republic of Cyprus would like to reiterate its conviction that the Court significantly contributes to the overall goal of the UN to work towards a more just and peaceful world, serving in this way the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Given the connecting and complementary mandates of the UN and the Court, the relationship between the UN and the Court as formalized in the 2004 Relationship Agreement is significant.

The Republic of Cyprus is pleased to note that, during the reporting period, the UN continued to work closely with the Court to further strengthen the Relationship and to ensure the effective implementation of the Relationship Agreement. As reflected in the Report, the Court had another very full year in terms of judicial proceedings, investigations, preliminary investigations and institutional developments, a pace of work that is likely to continue to intensify in the subsequent period.

Cyprus acknowledges the important judicial developments in the reporting period and will continue to follow closely development in the 21 cases and eight situations currently before the court. We also welcome the fact that the office of the Prosecutor is giving particular attention to allegations concerning attacks against buildings dedicated to religion and in this regard welcomes progress in the Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi case.

In light of also these developments, the further strengthening of this relationship, by means of practical steps, such as those contained in the Report of the Court to the Assembly of States Parties on the status of ongoing cooperation between the International Criminal Court and the United Nations (ICC-ASP/12/42) is a prospect we support.

It is true, that the Court continues to look to the international community for support and cooperation in establishing accountability for the most serious crimes under international law, bringing justice to victims and affected communities, and helping to prevent future atrocities.

Within this context, my delegation would like to seize the opportunity of this meeting, to reiterate its commitment and support to the Court, a support that has been afforded to the court since its inception. In line with also Cyprus’s role as a focal point within the Assembly of States Parties, for the promotion of universality and the full implementation of the Rome Statute, I would like to welcome the accession of the State of Palestine to the Rome Statute, and to seize this opportunity to call upon all States Not Parties to ratify the Rome Statute preferably in its 2010 version. It can be recognized that the universal ratification of the Rome Statute is crucial to the application of the principle of equality before the law and for the effective deterrence of the most serious crimes under international law.

We also look forward to an early activation of the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression and encourage States Parties who have not yet done so, to ratify the Kampala amendments.

It is never unnecessary to remind ourselves and the international community that the very creation of the ICC was thought by many to be a mission impossible. Yet, for the last thirteen years, the Court has been tangibly contributing to the advancement of international justice.

For this reason, the Republic of Cyprus would, in welcoming this year’s report of the ICC to the General Assembly, like to reiterate its unwavering support to it. It is our conviction, that through universality, cooperation and complentarity, the current and future challenges of the Court can be overcome. States Parties especially, ought to continue promoting the independence, credibility and efficiency of the Court. We very much welcome the example of complementarity of the preliminary examination in Guinea mentioned in the report, and share the hope that it will serve as a successful cooperation model for other situations.

I thank you for your attention.