Statement by Ambassador Vitaly I. Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, during the Security Council meeting on the situation in LibyaMay 26, 2016
The situation in Libya remains extremely unstable, despite all the efforts to reunify the country. The Government of National Accord is still only preparing to become a full-fledged executive body as it awaits the approval of the legimate Parliament, as provided for in the Skhirat Agreement. The terrorist groups being pressed by the Libyan army and receiving reinforcements from outside are not surrendering. Criminal activity linked to the smuggling of people from distressed regions across the Mediterranean is flourishing. The socioeconomic and humanitarian problems are getting worse.In other words, the foreign military intervention of 2011 has resulted in severe long-term consequences that can be overcome only by patient collaborative efforts to cooperate in developing a dialogue within Libya conducted under United Nations auspices. Staking everything on quick decisions favouring one or other of the parties could exacerbate the conflicts even further and reverse the positive beginnings that have been made.On 23 May, the eleventh report of the ICC Prosecutor was released, but it contains no radically new information. As in the past, we get the impression that the Security Council is receiving a report not from an organ that is responsible for investigating and prosecuting criminal acts but from some sort of monitoring mission. Furthermore, as the report does not disclose the Prosecutor’s response to the procedural problems that have arisen, the question becomes what the point of a dialogue with the Security Council is. We get the impression that the current situation with regard to the ICC’s consideration of the Libyan case is akin to the situation in 2011. A few days following the foreign military intervention, the Prosecutor began a preliminary investigation into Mr. Al-Qadhafi. But they did it so quickly that the evidence given was proved to be unfounded. For example the former Prosecutor spoke of mass rape. But that was refuted by the United Nations own commission on Libya and by many non-governmental organizations. Many reliable sources doubted the other acussations made by the ICC at the time — for instance, with regard to the use of recruits to suppress demonstrations prior to the foreign military intervention. However, such refutals had no impact on the situation. ICC legal support for the foreign military intervention was implemented, and it seemed that the Court believed that the mission had been accomplished.Over the past five years, the ICC has not brought a single new case, although it is very clear that the Libyan authorities were not the only party that could have committed acts that fall under the Rome Statute. In particular, the ICC has commenced no procedure to investigate information that has come to light on alleged crimes by the rebels. The Prosecutor has not considered the victims of NATO air strikes. And there is also proof, which was submitted to the United Nations commission investigating the Libyan situation, that non-military targets were destroyed in the air strikes. The Commission recommended that this proof be studied because it had been shown that the information provided by NATO was not reliable. Access to evidence of the consequences of the NATO attacks was open. Nevertheless the Prosecutor limited herself in 2013 to stating that she was unable to find evidence of actions that fall under the Rome Statute. However, the material that she submitted to the Security Council does not show why she came to such a conclusion.Finally, this is not the first report of the ICC Prosecutor to show the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is having an impact on the situation in Libya. However, no real efforts has been made to investigate these things. In addition, with regard to limited resources and the attempts bring the Libyan situation to the Security Council within a certain period of time show that in 2011 the idea of bringing the ICC investigation on Libya to the Security Council was put forward by the Prosecutor without considering what would be required to do that.In conclusion, we would like to point out the experience of the ICC on the Libyan situation cannot be considered successful, neither in terms of implementing justice and preventing new crimes, nor in terms of supporting national reconciliation. It just enhances our doubt as to whether any new matters should be referred to the ICC.