SC - Private Debate on Sudan/Darfur – ICC
Statement by Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations
New York, 11 June 2010
At the outset let me thank the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, for the presentation of his 11th report submitted pursuant to resolution 1593 (2005).
Austria is a longstanding advocate of the rule of law and the fight against impunity. Our positions on this subject are well known. As a State Party to the Rome Statute, Austria fully supports the independence of the ICC and its organs, including the Prosecutor. We need to provide them with all necessary support and cooperation for the effective discharge of their responsibilities.
In 2005, the Security Council referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC and gave it the mandate to investigate and try those responsible for the crimes committed. We thank the Prosecutor for the update on his activities and those of the Pre-Trial Chamber and the Appeals chamber in the various cases.
My delegation has taken note of the recent Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision informing the Security Council about the lack of cooperation by the Republic of Sudan issued on 25 May, calling on the Council to take appropriate action. We are concerned that the Government of Sudan is not meeting its obligation to fully cooperate in accordance with Resolution 1593 (2005), reaffirmed by the Presidential Statement of 16 June 2008. As a member of the European Union Austria evidently supports the call of the EU on the Government of Sudan to fully cooperate with the ICC, including through the surrender of Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb, for whom arrest warrants remain outstanding since April 2007. Most recently, the Review Conference of the ICC, in its declaration on cooperation, has emphasized the “obligation of States Parties, and other States under an obligation to cooperate with the Court, to assist the Court in the swift enforcement of its pending arrest warrants”.
We are still receiving reports on the ongoing crimes committed and the dire humanitarian situation in Darfur, which seriously affect the civilian population. The suspension of the work of 16 non-governmental organizations in March 2009, in addition to ongoing military activities in the region, continue to undermine the provision of humanitarian assistance for the people of Darfur and aid operations in the rest of Sudan. The United Nations and other international actors, including the European Union, have repeatedly called on the Sudanese government to ensure that humanitarian assistance can safely reach the most vulnerable people in Sudan.
My delegation highly commends the good cooperation between the Prosecutor and the AU High Level Implementation Panel on Darfur, led by former President Thabo Mbeki. We fully support the recommendation made by the AU Panel on ensuring accountability for the legacy of past abuses in order to ensure a peaceful future in Sudan. We encourage the Government of Sudan to implement the recommendations of the Mbeki Panel, in particular in the justice sector. Austria underlines the complementary nature of the work of the ICC and the AU Panel. We look forward to the upcoming meeting with President Mbeki on Monday.
As we speak, the Review Conference of the ICC is coming to an end in Kampala. As was noted in the high-level Kampala Declaration adopted last week, there can be no lasting peace without justice and peace and justice are thus complementary requirements. Justice is a fundamental building block of sustainable peace. Austria stands ready to work towards our shared goal: to achieve sustainable peace, justice and reconciliation in Sudan.