Speech

Supporting the ICC's role in pursuing accountability in Libya

Statement by Ambassador Karen Pierce, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council briefing on the ICC - Libya

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the Security Council briefing on Libya

I, too, would like to thank the prosecutor for briefing the Council in her 18th report on the situation in Libya.

The United Kingdom strongly supports the work of the International Criminal Court. Its role in holding accountable those responsible for the most serious crimes in Libya is of paramount importance. And this is especially so given recent flagrant breaches of international humanitarian law and human rights violations and abuses, including the targeting of civilian infrastructure, such as the Tajura Detention Center in July, as she set out. The conflict is having an unacceptable impact on civilians, including migrants and refugees. And the United Kingdom is clear that civilians should be protected and that those responsible for violations should be held accountable. The ICC is crucial to this.

International criminal justice is a collective effort. States should ensure cooperation and fulfill their obligations. We support the prosecutor’s call for all relevant states, including state parties and non-state parties, to cooperate with the ICC in the arrest and surrender of warranted individuals. And we share concerns reports of Mr Al-Werfalli’s promotion within the Libyan National Army and the ICC’s call on General Haftar to facilitate his immediate surrender.

It’s clear that the ongoing conflict is having an unacceptable impact on the humanitarian and human rights situation in Libya. We call on all member states to continue to engage with UN-led efforts to secure greater security and stability. We all know that there is no military solution to Libya’s problems. All parties to the conflict should commit to an immediate ceasefire and respect their obligations under international humanitarian law.

The indiscriminate shelling of civilian infrastructure, such as Matenga Airport, threatens Libyan lives and livelihoods and is unacceptable. The United Kingdom remains particularly concerned over the disappearance of MP Siham Sergewa in July 2019. And we reiterate our condolences following the car bomb attack in Benghazi, which killed five people, including three UN staff members.

Support for international criminal justice is a fundamental part of our foreign policy and the British government strongly supports the ICC’s role in pursuing accountability in Libya. The United Kingdom has always been and remains a strong supporter of the mission of the ICC to hold accountable those accused of the most serious crimes, to uphold the rule of law and to achieve justice for victims. We will continue to support the prosecutor and your team, Madam Prosecutor, as you pursue your investigations.

Published 6 November 2019