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UN General Debate Statements with ICC References
25 Sept 2008
Mentions of the ICC in Official Statements and More

Dear all,

Please find below the second of a two-part message related to the possibility of
an Article 16 deferral of the ICC investigation in Darfur, Sudan.

In this digest you will find mentions of the ICC in official statements at the
United Nations General Debate, excerpts from a press conference with French
President Sarkozy as well as related NGO papers, reports and statements.

For further information on the situation in Darfur visit:

For further information on the 63rd Session of the General Assembly, visit:

Please take note of the Coalition's policy on situations before the ICC (below),
which explicitly states that the CICC will not take a position on potential and
current situations before the Court or situations under analysis. The Coalition,
however, will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC.


Mariana Rodriguez-Pareja
CICC Communications
[email protected]


i. United Republic of Tanzania (on behalf of the African Union), speech
delivered by H.E. Mr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic
of Tanzania (on behalf of the African Union), 23 September 2008,

"[...] Three conflicts its worth mentioning and discussing: Darfur, Somalia and
In Darfur, the human crisis still persists although encouraging signs of
improvement. The situation would be better if entire contingent of UNAMID forces
deployed, and the peace talks between the rebels and the Government of Sudan are
resumed and concluded. Also if the humanitarian aid work would be allowed to be
carried out unencumbered and matters related to justice are dealt with

[...] I was in Sudan two weeks ago and had fruitful discussions with Al Bashir
and officials of Joint AU Mission and came to understanding on way forward. We
believe the indictment of Bashir will complicate deployment of UNAMID and the
management of the humanitarian crisis. We see the deferral as best strategy for
now. Deferment should not in any way be perceived as condoning injustice.
Justice is a matter of essence. Justice must be done and seen to be done. We
are simply concerned with the best possible sequencing so that the most
immediate matters of saving lives and easing the suffering of the people of
Darfur are dealt with first. Getting the support and cooperation of the
government of Sudan is a matter of essence.

[...] We are deeply saddened by ongoing fighting. Such fighting threatens the
security of countries neighboring DRC. The African Union is committed to being
more proactive in search for lasting peace. Will work with regional leaders and
UN leaders in this regard. ..."

ii. Finland, speech delivered by H.E. Ms. Tarja Halonen, President of the
Republic of Finland, 24 September 2008,

"Finland is committed more fair, secure and just world through United Nations.
Increased cooperation should also be extended to the African Union. A continued
UN peacekeeping presence in Chad and in the Republic of Central Africa would
contribute to wider stabilization efforts both locally and regionally.

..... Furthermore, there can be no sustainable peace without justice. Finland
strongly supports the International Criminal Court in rejecting impunity for the
most serious international crimes."

iii. Slovenia, speech delivered by H.E. Mr. Danilo Türk, President of the
Republic of Slovenia, 24 September 2008,

"Armed conflicts continue to produce atrocities and massive violations of human
rights. These phenomena must be met with resolute counteraction. The
institutions of human rights need to be strengthened and supported. The ICC has
to be accepted and made effective as the key institution to punish perpetrators
of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. In short, violations of
human rights have to be combated."

iv. Latvia, speech by President H.E. Mr. Valdis Zatlers, 24 September 2008,

"This year marks the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute
establishing the International Criminal Court. We welcome the progress the
Court has achieved in its analyses, investigations and judicial proceedings. We
call upon all States to ensure full cooperation with the Court. The ICC is not
an instrument that can be activated or deactivated according to political
expediency. We are convinced that universality of justice is a prerequisite for
a sustainable peace."

v. Suriname, speech by President H.E. Mr. Runaldo Ronald Venetiaan,

"Suriname remains committed to the promotion and protection of human rights. My
country underscores the principle of equality before the law, and that everyone
should be held accountable for his or her actions. It is against this backdrop
that Suriname acceded to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on
July 15th of this year. We thus expressed our commitment to fighting the
impunity of those engaged in committing gross human rights violations.
Providing the Court with its full potential to meet its mandate, however,
depends on a joint commitment at the global level...."

vi. Costa Rica, speech by President H.E. Mr. Óscar Arias Sánchez,

"...Evil lives not only through actions, but also, and above all, through
omission. To keep silent, when crimes are grave and responsibilities are clear,
is not to remain neutral- it is to take a stand on the side of the aggressors.
Our recent past holds unpunished and horrendous crimes that call out, not for
vengeance, but for justice. We cannot trivialize evil. If we do not want to
repeat the painful history of Kosovo and Bosnia, of Rwanda and Kampuchea, then
it is time for the international community to demand that those responsible for
the crimes committed in Darfur be judged before the International Criminal
Court. Costa Rica will oppose any attempt to avoid this path, which is the path
to peace. Forgiveness is based on memory, not in concealment; and peace will be
possible only through memory. We must understand, through the words of Elie
Wiesel, that "the memory of evil will serve as a shield against evil; the memory
of death will serve as a shield against death." [...]


Press conference: French Republic (on behalf of the European Union) after speech
delivered by H.E. Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Republic,
Video available at:

"[...] Question from Al-Hayat journalist: There is an impression that France is
interested or willing to compromise... the positions on international courts
such as the ICC in Darfur... so you will be having successes, how committed are
you [...]?

Answer: ...I thought that you were going to begin questions with this issue.
France wants the Sudanese authorities to change radically their policies. It is
now up to Mr. Bashir to determine what exactly he wants. We want to deploy the
international force in Darfur to put an end to this scandalous situation in
which there are tens of thousands of people dying in this part of Africa. We
want peace in Sudan, we want peace and territorial integrity for Chad and we
want those people who are accused of genocide not to stay as ministers in a
government in Sudan. If the Sudanese authorities do change, totally change their
policy, then France would not be opposed to using Article 16. They will be no
recourse to Article 16 unless there is radical and immediate change in Sudanese
policies. France is ready to speak to anybody. France understands quite clearly
the problems of the various parties. France does not wish to destabilize Mr.
Bashir who honestly is not contributing anything to that region but France wants
a certain number of principles to be respected. People in Darfur have the right
to live and we cannot accept the situation as it is currently...."


i. "Qatar's Premier meets ICC Prosecutor," Qatar News Agency, 22 September 2008,

"Qatar's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin
Jabor al Thani met here today at the seat of the Qatar's Permanent Delegation to
the United Nations with International Criminal Court's (ICC) Prosecutor Luis
Moreno Ocambo.

Discussions during the meeting dealt with efforts being exerted to solve the
crisis between Sudan and the ICC by peaceful means....."

ii. "Darfur: ICC prosecutor to meet UN, AU officials," Afrique En Ligne,
22 September 2008,,-au-officials-2008\

"The prosecutor of the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), Mr Luis
Moreno-Ocampo, is in New York to meet with senior international actors on
Sudan's war-town Darfur region, ICC spokesperson Florence Olara told PANA

'Our chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, will be discussing with UN and
African Union officials on the sidelines of the General Assembly on the need to
protect the civilians in Darfur, stop the crimes in Darfur and ensure the
execution of the court's judicial mandate and decisions,' Olara said.

She also said: 'the prosecutor will further present to the officials details of
his findings on Darfur and crimes committed by some members of the Sudanese

....The spokeperson said 'Al-Bashir has complete control of his forces, and they
ar e raping women today, they are promoting conditions in the camps to destroy
entire communities and they are still bombing schools'...."


i. "Open letter to the African Union Peace and Security Council," Amnesty
International, 17 September 2008,\

"Further to our letter to President Jakaya Kikwete on 11 August in his capacity
as the Chairperson of the African Union (AU), I am writing on behalf of Amnesty
International, in advance of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU
PSC) meeting in September in New York, to urge you to use your position and
leadership of the Peace and Security Council to firmly oppose calls for the
United Nations Security Council (UN SC) to defer any aspect of the International
Criminal Court's (ICC) work to end impunity for the horrific human rights
violations that have been and continue to be committed in the Darfur region of

ii. "Lettre ouverte à Monsieur le Président de la République Française," AI,
FIDH, FIACAT, ACAT, 18 September 2008, (in French only)

"Certain reports in the press make us fear that France modifies its position
concerning the ICC Prosecutor's filing against President Al-Bashir in the Darfur
case.According to these reports, France would attempt to negotiate a compromise
with Sudanese authorities. In exchange for theconcessions asked of Khartoum,
France would invoke the deferral provided under Article 16 of the Rome Statute,
which allows the UN Security Council to suspend the investigations for a
renewable period of one year..."

Informal translation provided by CICC Secretariat.

iii. "AU: Do Not Call for Suspending ICC's Investigation of President al-Bashir-
Letter to the African Union Peace and Security Council," Human Rights Watch, 19
September 2008, (available in Arabic
and English)

"We write in regard to the arrest warrant requested by the prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court (ICC) for President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan. We are
deeply concerned by the African Union's call for the United Nations Security
Council to suspend the investigation by this independent judicial institution; a
suspension that would in effect deny redress to the victims of atrocities in
Darfur. We urge you at the meeting of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security
Council on September 22 to reconsider this position and move to reaffirm your
commitment to ending impunity for such crimes and your support for the ICC and
its continuing work in Darfur...."

iv. "Sudan: Opportunity in the Midst of Crisis," Enough Project, 23 September

"As the United Nations General Assembly meets this week in New York, the crisis
in Sudan is front and center on the agenda. Following the International Criminal
Court, or ICC, chief prosecutor's request for an arrest warrant against Sudanese
President Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese government launched a diplomatic
offensive to pressure the United Nations Security Council to suspend the ICC
investigation. The African Union and Arab League have lined up in support of
Khartoum's position, and even ICC supporters such as France and the United
Kingdom have suggested that holding war criminals to account in Darfur might
derail efforts to end the crisis. They couldn't be more wrong.
The fact is, the ICC's request for an indictment creates a new opening for
peace, the first of three significant opportunities that the international
community must urgently seize. With the ICC's move, President Bashir and his
government are finally confronting real consequences for their actions,
consequences that go well beyond the harsh rhetoric and empty threats that have
characterized the world's response since 2003. This time it is different because
the threat of an arrest warrant is potent enough to inform the calculations of a
government that is as pragmatic as it is reprehensible. The second opportunity
is the renewed prospect of an inclusive peace process for Darfur. The third is a
drive toward national elections in 2009 and a self-determination referendum for
southern Sudan in 2011, which will concentrate Sudanese and international actors
on implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, or CPA...."


"Rights groups demonstrate outside UN," Afrol News, 24 September 2008,'

"Amnesty International and human rights activists are expected to send a message
to United Nations Security Council at a rally on Thursday evening urging the
body to reject efforts to block indictment of Sudanese president Omar Al Bashir
by International Criminal Court for war crimes and genocide in war torn Darfur

ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo has accused Sudan's president of
masterminding a campaign of rape, murder and deportation in volatile Darfur

A demonstration by activists will call on UN member states to stop delaying and
keep promises they have made for more than a year to send 26,000 peacekeepers to
protect civilians in Darfur.

Activists demand that 15 countries on UN Security Council not turn a blind eye
to justice and accountability in Darfur crisis.

Amnesty International Executive Director Larry Cox said nobody should be
protected from prosecution for most serious crimes committed in Darfur under
international law.

...'If attempts to block the ICC's investigation of President Al Bashir succeed,
it would set a dangerous precedent for others to try to undermine international
law,' he said, stating that it would send a message that international community
is not serious about ending impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and
war crimes....' "

See also:\