May 23, 2024

Statement by Mr. Haris Chrysostomou – 6th Committee of the UN – Report of the ICC

Item 71 – “Report of the International Criminal Court”, 77th Session of the UNGAicc-1

New York, 31 October 2022


Mr. President,

My remarks today are complementary to the statement delivered by the European Union.

My delegation would like to thank President Hofmański for the introduction of this year’s Report which is included in the document A/77/305, and to express our appreciation and recognition for the Court’s high judicial, prosecutorial and investigative activity during the reporting period, including the commencing of two trials, the continuation of two other, the entering of a fifth trial in the preparation phase, the issuance of new arrest warrants and the opening of three new investigations. Furthermore, we single out the high participation of victims in the Court’s proceedings and the continuation of the implementation of reparation orders and assistance orders by the Trust Fund for Victims.

We welcome the continued active engagement of the Court in the review process aimed at enhancing the performance and effectiveness of the institution and the wider Rome Statute system, a process that my country fully supports. We also note the election of the two Deputy Prosecutors at the twentieth session of the Assembly of States Parties, and we believe that it should remain a high priority to continue strengthening the selection process of the Court’s high officials.

Cyprus has always been a strong supporter of the ICC system and we have been striving along with other states parties to consolidate it as an independent and impartial judicial institution of the highest quality. We will also continue to work for the universal ratification and full implementation of the Rome Statute.

Cyprus proudly cosponsored the draft resolution entitled “Report of the International Criminal Court” (A/77/L.7) and we call upon all member states to support it as well. The draft resolution contains new language on the prohibition of the illegal use of force enshrined in the UN Charter, as well as on genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression. On the latter, we wish to remind that Cyprus, who itself is a victim of foreign aggression, was one of the first countries to ratify the Kampala amendment to the Rome Statute on the crime of aggression, which has been embedded in the jurisdictional regime of the Rome Statute since July 2018, and we urge all state parties to do likewise.

While the ICC has evolved into a key instrument in combatting impunity, serious crimes and atrocities continue unabated around the world. Much more is needed to effectively address these crimes and grave human rights violations wherever they occur, and it is in our hands to strengthen the international justice system for accountability for atrocities, and therefore to realize the objectives of both the UN and the ICC.

Among others, the lack of impunity is partly owed to the lack of referrals by the Security Council. The ability of the Security Council to refer situations to the ICC is one of the most powerful tools at its disposal to interrupt the conflict cycle, to ensure sustainable peace and to provide justice and effective remedies to the victims. We also believe that Security Council referrals should be in line with the spirit of existing commitments to refrain from using the veto in order to prevent the Council from acting to end the commission of atrocity crimes, namely the French-Mexican initiative and the ACT Code of Conduct.

I thank you.