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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The European Union and its Member States firmly believe in a rules-based global order, with multilateralism as its key principle and the United Nations at its core.
The ICC demonstrates the international community's resolve to end impunity for the most heinous crimes and to foster a culture of accountability.
The year 2018 represents a milestone for the ICC as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute. On this occasion, the European Union and its Member States reconfirm their unwavering support to the ICC and their commitment to renew efforts to promote the universality and preserve the integrity of the Rome Statute. It should be also a moment of reflection on what we have achieved but also on what we can improve.
Efforts to combat impunity, however, are only effective if there is sound collective and individual cooperation of State actors with the ICC. It is un-realistic to expect the ICC to deliver justice without State cooperation.
The EU is one of the first regional organizations to have entered into an agreement on cooperation and assistance with the ICC. The EU and its Member States reiterate their commitment to cooperate fully with the ICC in the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes falling under the jurisdiction of the Court and call upon all other States to also fulfil their obligations to cooperate with the ICC.
Non-cooperation with the Court by States parties and referral States in regard to the execution of arrest warrants constitutes a violation of international obligations. Excessive delays in the execution of cooperation requests also have a negative impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of the Court.
Instances of non-cooperation need to be addressed. It is the duty of State Parties, both individually and collectively, to take action to ensure that violations of cooperation obligations are dealt with in a more effective way.
We also encourage the Council to consider carefully the possibility offered by the Rome Statute to refer situations to the Prosecutor.
It is important that when the Security Council refers a situation to the Prosecutor, it follows through and ensures the necessary cooperation with the Court with a view to enhancing its effectiveness. Instances of non-cooperation in situations referred to the Prosecutor require a proper follow-up by the Security Council. At the same time, the Council could make better use of the work done and the information gathered by the ICC Prosecutor when considering specific situations under its agenda.
We welcome this debate as an important contribution to further exploring how the ICC and the Council can better collaborate to achieve the goal of ending impunity for the most serious crimes under international law.
The European Union and its Member States underline the importance of consistent actions to encourage full cooperation of States with the ICC, including the prompt execution of arrest warrants.
The EU and its Member States are ready to consider initiatives aimed at strengthening the cooperation between the Council and the ICC, notably with the Office of the Prosecutor, including if appropriate, through the establishment of a mechanism.
I thank you.