Mr. President

Switzerland thanks the Albanian Presidency for organizing this open debate, as well as the panelists for their contributions.

A world without accountability is a world where impunity replaces the rule of law. A world where peace and security are no longer guaranteed, a reality known by many victims. Impunity, if not fought against, encourages new violations. Accountability is therefore crucial to prevent atrocities and to guarantee peace. It is the responsibility of states and the Security Council to implement existing ac-countability mechanisms, to continually refine them, and to create new ones where necessary.

First, states have the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute the most serious crimes and violations of international law. States must therefore ensure that violations are documented and independently and impartially investigated and prosecuted, regardless of who commits them. To do so, States must use existing tools, both domestic and international, such as courts and accountability mechanisms, the exercise of universal jurisdiction and international judicial assistance. Switzerland encourages all Member States to ratify the Rome Statute, to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court, and to support the International Court of Justice and comply with its decisions. We must also develop the tools at our disposal, such as the convention on crimes against humanity.

Second, the Security Council should act in unison to support national, regional, and international accountability efforts. In particular, it must refer situations to the ICC and support swift and decisive action to prevent or end atrocity crimes. We recall the importance of the Code of Conduct developed by the ACT group and encourage all member states to join it. We also note resolution 262 allowing for the convening of the General Assembly following the exercise of the veto right in the Security Council. Indeed, if the Council is unable to act, it is necessary to explore other avenues, such as the investigation mechanisms for Syria and Myanmar, and the creation of other instruments, such as the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine. Switzerland calls on member states to recognize and support the work of these independent and impartial mechanisms.

Third, accountability should be complemented by other legal and non-legal measures for truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence. By emphasizing the rights of victims, survivors, and their families, as well as the accountability of perpetrators, transitional justice is a powerful tool to prevent the recurrence of violence.

Mr. President,

As Kofi Annan has said, "The struggle for freedom and justice is never hopeless, but it is never won. Every morning we must wake up and fight again."

Justice is a common good to be preserved and enhanced. We have a responsibility to make good use of the tools of accountability. As a candidate to the Security Council, Switzerland remains committed to ensuring that the fight against impunity is not just a word, but a shared action.

I thank you for your support