Statement by Sweden at the UN Security Council Briefing by the ICC Prosecutor on Libya
National Statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin-Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing by the ICC Prosecutor on Libya, 8 November 2017, New York.
I would like to begin by joining others in welcoming the Prosecutor, Madam Fatou Bensouda, back to the chamber today, and by thanking you for your comprehensive briefing. We sincerely appreciate the valuable work and tireless efforts of the Court, and its officials, in all organs. Madam Prosecutor, your work continues to make a significant contribution to holding perpetrators of serious crimes of international concern to account, and to providing justice for their victims.
My government would particularly like to acknowledge your efforts to apply an integrated gender perspective throughout the Office's investigations and in its reports.
We continue to be deeply concerned by the security and humanitarian situation in Libya. Since we last met with the Prosecutor in May of this year, the situation of civilians, who are paying the highest price as a result of the ongoing conflict, has sadly remained fragile and precarious. A breakdown of the rule of law has led to widespread human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict.
In these circumstances, the Office of the Prosecutor plays an important and essential role. Sweden welcomes the efforts of the Office to investigate the ongoing cases and to monitor closely the situation throughout Libya. We also welcome the Office's efforts to bring new applications for arrest warrants against those who are alleged to be responsible for violations or abuses, should the evidence and relevant information support such action.
This is vital and crucial work, in light of the continuing volatility and insecurity in the country. Reports of violations and abuses must be investigated and those responsible brought to justice. There must be no impunity.
To assist the Office of the Prosecutor in fulfilling its mandate, the support and cooperation of the Libyan Prosecutor-General's office, the Libyan authorities, States Parties, UN Member States and all other relevant entities is crucial.
In addition, if it is to successfully carry out its functions, including those asked of it by this Council, the Office needs our full support – both political and financial. It is essential that we follow through on our decision to refer Libya to the International Criminal Court, as the situation in the country continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security.
Sweden recalls the decision by the Security Council to refer the Libya situation to the Court in 2011, and reiterates its full support to the Office of the Persecutor to investigate the actions of all parties to the conflict in Libya. This includes more recent crimes such as the case against Mahmoud al-Werfalli. We support the Court's call on the Libyan authorities to cooperate with it and to immediately arrest and surrender Mr al-Werfalli. Regarding the case of Mr al-Tuhamy, we note with concern the continued lack of information about Mr al-Tuhamy's whereabouts and repeat our hope for his speedy arrest and transfer to the Court. Libya and all member states are under an obligation to cooperate with the ICC in this regard.
We heard from the High Commissioner for Refugees last week about the grave exploitation and abuse faced by refugees and migrants along the Central Mediterranean route to Europe, including in Libya. We are alarmed by reports of arbitrary detentions, torture and sexual and gender-based violence in migrant detention centres, as well as in regular detention centres. Greater international access is urgently needed and should be granted.
Re-establishing a permanent UN presence in Libya will be important for responding to these issues, and we welcome SRSG Salamé's efforts in this regard.
We share the view of the Office of the Prosecutor's that certain crimes against refugees and migrants fall within the jurisdiction of the Court, and support the initiative to explore the possibility of investigating crimes related to human trafficking and smuggling networks.
Ensuring the rule of law, ending impunity and providing accountability is essential for post conflict reconciliation and sustaining peace. The work of the Prosecutor and the ICC is playing an important role in Libya in this regard. They have the full support of my government as they undertake this important but difficult task.