October 31, 2022
[ As delivered]
“The hope of impunity is the greatest inducement to do wrong.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, it was said by the Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero 21 centuries ago.
Apparently, the exemption of certain people from justice has been a problem for quite some time…
Thank you for joining today’s debate on the annual Report of the International Criminal Court.
The ICC, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, was founded on principles shared by the United Nations.
The promotion of a universal culture that respects and upholds the rule of law, human rights, and human dignity.
La Cour Pénale Internationale a été créée pour lutter contre l’impunité, en tenant pour responsables ceux qui commettent les crimes les plus graves.
Elle a été créée pour rendre justice et offrir réparation, indispensables, aux victimes de ces crimes les plus graves.
(French translation : It was established to combat impunity, holding those who perpetrate the gravest crimes accountable.
It was created to deliver the much-needed justice and redress to the victims of those most serious crimes.)
Today, the ICC is an intrinsic part of the fabric of the multilateral system. It is a central institution of the global justice system. More than that, a key institution.
فِي هَذِهِ اَلْأَوْقَاتِ اَلْعَصِيبَةِ يَتَجَلَّى لَنَا بِشَكْلٍ خَاصٍّ مَدَى أَهَمِّيَّةِ اَلْحِفَاظِ عَلَى سِيَادَةِ اَلْقَانُونِ وَ حِمَايَتِهَا.
(Arabic translation: In these troubled times, we see especially clearly how important it is that the rule of law be kept and protected. )
Critical institutions like the ICC send a clear message that there should be no place in 2022 for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
Но, к сожалению, когда такие события происходят, международное сообщество должно твёрдо заверить, что виновники будут привлечены к ответственности.
(Russian translation: But when they unfortunately do occur, the international community must reaffirm that it will hold perpetrators accountable.)
In recent years the Court has embarked on an important process of reflection and reform.
As has been discussed in these halls, reform is not a bad thing. “Fear not to reform” – was said by another ancient philosopher, Confucius as early as 25 centuries ago.
Indeed, it is crucial for an institution to hold a mirror up to itself and to have an honest, transparent conversation about what it can do better. I commend the States Parties of the ICC on their efforts.
We all want to see a successful ICC that sets, and then protects, the highest legal and professional standards.
A Court that is a paragon of governance and institutional culture.
A Court that holds those guilty of the gravest crimes accountable and serves both as a deterrent and as a model for domestic criminal law systems.
I call on all of you to support the ICC’s important mission and to achieve the ultimate goal: the universal ratification of the Rome Statue.
I look forward to a meaningful debate today.
A debate that will continue to strengthen the relations between the United Nations and the Court and contribute to ending impunity once and for all.
I thank you.