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UK Statement after ICC Prosecutor's briefing, 11 June 2010

Statement by Sir Mark Lyall Grant, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UK Mission to the UN, after the ICC Prosecutor's briefing - 11 June 2010

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


I thank the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr Moreno Ocampo, for his report and for his briefing this afternoon. I would also like to take the opportunity once again to commend him and his staff for their tireless efforts to bring justice to the victims of the grave crimes committed in Darfur. The United Kingdom strongly supports the International Criminal Court and its mandate to fight against impunity in Darfur. We welcome in particular the Prosecutor’s efforts to monitor the ongoing violation of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur and to bring these matters to the attention of this Council.

The United Kingdom is deeply concerned by the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Darfur and by the impact on the civilian population of the recent resumption of fighting between Sudanese government forces and rebel groups, including evidence of aerial bombings and attacks on civilian targets. It is essential that all sides recognise that genuine, inclusive negotiations are the only route to lasting peace and development in Darfur, and that they cease hostilities and re-engage with the political process led by the AU UN Joint Chief Mediator, Mr Bassole.

The United Kingdom also remains very concerned by the ongoing attacks on, and kidnapping of humanitarian workers and peacekeeping personnel, and by the restrictions imposed on UNAMID’s movements. It is essential that all sides urgently facilitate humanitarian access to the conflict areas in order that needs can be assessed and assistance provided to the civilian population.

Mr President

The Prosecutor’s latest report concludes once again that there has been no cooperation by the Government of Sudan with his investigation, despite the clear and legally binding obligation on Sudan to cooperate with the ICC imposed by Security Council resolution 1593 (2005). We believe that this Council should also take note of the Decision adopted on 25 May by the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber in which the Court found that Sudan is failing to comply with its cooperation obligations stemming from resolution 1593 in relation to the enforcement of the arrest warrants issued against Ahmed Harun and Ali Kushayb. The Security Council should seriously consider its response. The Prosecutor’s suggestions for follow-up action are worthy of careful study.

The United Kingdom repeats its call to the Government of Sudan and to all other parties to the conflict in Darfur to cooperate fully with the Court and execute the warrants.

Mr President

The United Kingdom agrees with the ICC Prosecutor that the victims of crimes committed during the conflict in Darfur deserve justice. We also welcome the work of former President Mbeki and the AU High-Level Panel to develop complementary justice mechanisms to close the impunity gap in Darfur and address the full range of violations and abuses which have been committed during this conflict. We look forward to further details on how the Panel’s recommendations will be implemented. As part of this effort, we believe it is essential that the Government of Sudan acts to address the climate of impunity prevailing in Darfur by bringing to justice those involved in the commission of serious crimes, including those responsible for sexual and gender-based violence.

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Published 14 June 2010