Statement by Ambassador Sven Jürgenson at UN Security Council briefing on ICC Libya

Mr President,

We welcome Mr Karim Khan to the Security Council on the occasion of his first briefing to this Council as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). We thank Prosecutor Khan for the 22nd periodic report on the situation in Libya, and for his remarks today.

At the outset, I would like to reiterate Estonia’s unwavering support to the ICC as an independent and impartial judicial institution and an important pillar of rules-based international order.

With regard to the situation on the ground, we remain concerned about the reports of continued violence and lack of security and stability. We recall that all crimes, including those taking place in detention facilities, need to be investigated and prosecuted by the Libyan authorities. Estonia also remains concerned about the crimes perpetrated against migrants and refugees and notes the ICC’s role in assisting national authorities to prosecute cases. We continue to call for the departure of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libyan territory as a first step towards the full and timely implementation of 23 October 2020 Ceasefire Agreement, in line with Security Council resolution 2570 (2021). Finally, the holding of free, fair, inclusive and credible elections in December this year will prove vital for the strengthening of the rule of law in Libya.

Mr President,

Full cooperation of the Government of National Accord (GNU) and all other relevant stakeholders with the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) is crucial towards achieving accountability for those responsible for Rome Statute crimes. Estonia reiterates that the authorities must ensure that ongoing and future investigations are carried out in accordance with international standards in full cooperation with the ICC.

Estonia welcomes the strengthening of mutual cooperation by the ICC with national authorities and stakeholders to enhance the collection and preservation of evidence. In this regard, we welcome the meeting of the OTP with domestic law enforcement agencies to coordinate their respective activities.

Estonia further encourages the strengthening of formats of cooperation and exchange of information between the OTP and the Panel of Experts, the Independent Fact-Finding Mission, Europol and UNSMIL (UN Support Mission in Libya).

With regard to ensuring the effectiveness of the work of the Court, we would like to take the opportunity to point out the need to ensure the ICC the necessary budgetary resources to fulfil its mandate. This includes funds to be provided by the UN in relation to the expenses incurred due to referral of situations by the Security Council to the ICC.

Finally, we remind that the execution of ICC arrest warrants remains essential to uphold justice for the victims. Unfortunately, so far there have been no tangible results in the implementation of the warrants in the Libyan case. We encourage the OTP to ascertain the alleged deaths of the fugitives and urge for full cooperation with the ICC in surrendering the remaining fugitive to the Court.

Mr President,

As Estonia’s membership in the Security Council is coming to an end, allow me to, once more, assure our full support to the work of the ICC, and urge all States and other stakeholders to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute. Cooperation with the ICC to end impunity and establish justice for the victims in Libya must be prompt and meaningful.

Thank you.