Thank you, Mr./Madam Chair,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
Crimes against humanity are among the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. They are acts of horror that still haunt the world today. It is our duty to prevent them and, when they occur, not to let them go unpunished.
The draft articles adopted by the International Law Commission reflect the call for further efforts of the international community to end impunity for perpetrators of crimes against humanity and to provide justice for victims of such crimes. As staunch supporters of the fight against impunity worldwide, the European Union and its Member States are fully supportive of the initiative towards a new Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Humanity.
We see the elaboration of a Convention as a major step towards strengthening the international criminal justice system and as an illustration of States working together to close gaps in international law. A new Convention would reinforce the legal framework on the criminalization of crimes against humanity and would facilitate national investigations, prosecution, and punishment of such crimes. The Convention would offer an additional legal tool to prevent and punish crimes against humanity at the national level and, at the same time, a new legal basis for inter-state cooperation on that matter.
We also recall the MLA initiative, supported by all EU Member States, aiming at enhancing inter-state cooperation in the prosecution of perpetrators of international crimes. We see both processes as complementing each other. Adoption of these new instruments would substantially contribute to the fight against impunity at international level.
The European Union and its Member States strongly support the elaboration of a Convention on the basis of the draft articles, as recommended by the ILC, preferably by an international conference of plenipotentiaries. We stand ready to take the next steps towards this end.
I thank you, Mr./Madam Chair.
* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.