Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Gennady Kuzmin at the Security Council consideration of a report by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on the situation in Libya
It has been eight years since we started to consider reports on the situation in Libya by the ICC Prosecutor once every six months. Today is the 17th time we convene such a meeting. Year after year in this very room, we hear that the ICC is the institution that is capable of playing a pivotal role in stopping the armed confrontation and in restoring legality. We are told that this mechanism can bring the guilty to responsibility and enhance Libyans’ trust in justice.
To our regret, the reality proves the opposite. Year-to-year the ICC is getting less important at the international arena. Their investigations lack in dynamics. They bring no results. When preparing for this meeting, I looked through the statements of Russian representatives in the Council on this topic. Today I could read out any of them, they all remain relevant. The ICC seems to be absolutely immune to any fair criticism.
The conflict in Libya has deep roots. In 2011 air forces of the U.S., France, the UK, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and others swarmed and attempted to “bomb in democracy” into the former Jamahiriya, but only caused numerous casualties, provoked chaos, rampant crimes and flows of refugees. The ICC miraculously managed to notice none of it.
There must have been some special reasons for that. Those of you who still have faith in the cherished image of the ICC – a champion of justice should turn to the ICC decision dated April 12, 2019. This seems to be the decision my U.S. colleague referred to.
The Court openly proclaimed to the whole international community that in some specific conditions justice can be neglected. Interests of victim, gravity of crimes – all of this is secondary for the ICC. What is primary, then? It is the so called “interests of justice”. From now on the ICC has the right not to start an investigation should the Court:
- Doubt the viability/possibility of investigating due to non-cooperation of the interested sides due to sanction pressure against the Court Members; or
- Have limited budget.
I am afraid after issuing such an “elegant” decision that describes the interests of justice as understood by the ICC, it will hardly ever be possible to restore the Court’s reputation.
Given such judicial policy, the proceedings on Libya can hardly lead to any credible results.