At its meeting on 25 January 2023, the UN Security Council addressed the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan, which remains unresolved to this day. In 2003, various ethnic groups in western Sudan had rebelled against the government of dictator Omar al-Bashir, who was overthrown in 2019. In an attempt to quell these protests, some 300,000 civilians were killed and 2.5 million people displaced, according to UN figures. Shortly afterwards, the UN Security Council assessed the situation in Sudan as a threat to international peace and security. Conflict continues in the region to this day.
In 2005, the Security Council mandated the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to investigate genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur in order to bring those responsible – including al-Bashir – to justice. "This trial gives a voice to the victims and survivors. It underlines once again the preventive and reconciliatory role of the ICC: the Court is a vector for peace and security and thus shares the core of the mandate of this Council," said Swiss UN Ambassador Pascale Baeriswyl at the Security Council.
Switzerland, together with Japan, is the focal point for issues concerning the ICC at the Security Council. The ICC is a central institution for dealing with violent conflict in order to promote the foundations for reconciliation and thus sustainable peace. This is why Switzerland was also instrumental in the creation of the ICC in 2001. "For the ICC to be able to exercise its mandate effectively, independently and impartially, it relies on the support of all of us. In this sense, we call on all member states of the United Nations to fulfil their cooperation obligations," Baeriswyl underlined. Switzerland is committed to an efficient interaction between the ICC and UN organs such as the Security Council, to bring justice to the victims of violent acts in conflict through criminal justice and to fight the impunity of perpetrators.
Statement by Switzerland before the UN Security Council on the ICC's engagement in Sudan, 25.01.2023