Switzerland thanks the Prosecutor and his team for his important presentation and for submitting the 25th report on the situation in Libya. We also welcome the presence of the Permanent Representative of Libya.
"Impunity will not be tolerated." These were the words of the then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan when he welcomed the International Criminal Court. In Libya, accountability is not an abstract concept, it is a constant and legitimate demand expressed by the victims and an essential element for the success of the reconciliation process. As co-chair of the Working Group on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights of the Berlin Process, Switzerland often interacts with victims who tell it again and again that Libya cannot have a lasting peace without justice.
I would like to address three points:
First, we commend the Office of the Prosecutor for the progress made in the implementation of the renewed action strategy for Libya. In particular, the efficient allocation of resources coupled with the use of advanced technology in evidence management, as well as efforts to make justice accessible to victims. It is essential that the security of victims is ensured so that they can access the Court without hindrance, including within the country. Civil society also has a crucial role to play and we are deeply concerned by the increasing repressive measures imposed on the latter in Libya. We therefore note with interest the organization of a round table by the Office of the Prosecutor on the theme of gender-based persecution. We also welcome the fact that despite the challenges posed by the complex political landscape and security situation in Libya, numerous field missions have been carried out. These efforts, coupled with enhanced cooperation, have led to concrete results: the issuance of new sealed arrest warrants in the Libya investigations is proof of this.
Secondly, cooperation is key to the proper functioning of the Court. We therefore strongly encourage the Libyan authorities to continue to cooperate fully with the Office of the Prosecutor, in particular with regard to access to necessary documentation or the prompt follow-up of requests for legal assistance. We support efforts to open a liaison office in Libya, in particular to deepen the partnership with the authorities, survivors and families of victims. We further commend the Office of the Prosecutor's proactive policy of cooperation with third States, which has, inter alia, contributed to the arrest of a suspect in crimes against migrants. We underline the important role of the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands in this arrest and encourage all States to make use of the principle of universal jurisdiction which allows the prosecution of the most serious international crimes. This is also in the context of the latest report of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission for Libya, which cites reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed against migrants and persons in detention centers.
Thirdly, the mission of the ICC, as the only permanent international criminal court, remains the priority in delivering justice, in Libya and elsewhere. In order for the Court to be able to carry out its mandate effectively, its independence and impartiality must be preserved, while providing it with the necessary human and financial resources. Switzerland calls on all states to support the Court.
By referring the matter to the Court in its Resolution 1970, this Council has shown its commitment to fight impunity for the most serious crimes and to bring justice to the victims. Supporting the Court is therefore our common responsibility. Together we can ensure that justice is done and thus contribute to a lasting peace in Libya.
I thank you.