(Check against delivery)Thank you, Mr. President.
I would like to begin by expressing my appreciation to Madame Prosecutor Bensouda for her briefing and report. Japan is committed to the fight against impunity and to supporting the International Criminal Court (ICC), including the Office of the Prosecutor. Japan commends the accomplishments of the ICC to date. As the largest financial contributor, Japan has consistently supported the ICC so that it will function effectively and sustainably to promote the rule of law, with the support of the international community.
Japan believes that the ICC has contributed to steady progress on international justice. However, since the ICC lacks its own enforcement authorities, the cooperation of States is vital to its success. The ICC cannot function effectively, and cannot deliver justice, without the cooperation of States. Against this background, we welcome the continued collaborative relationship between the Office of the Prosecutor and the Libyan Prosecutor-General’s office. Prime Minister al-Sarraji’s reaffirmation of Libya’s commitment to cooperating with the ICC during meetings with Prosecutor Bensouda was especially encouraging. We hope this positive trend will yield results in the near future.
Japan is closely following the development after the issuance of the arrest warrant for Major Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf al-Werfalli for alleged criminal responsibility for war crimes under the Rome statute. Japan stands ready to fulfill its obligations under the Rome Statute. Regarding Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, it is regrettable that he is not yet in the ICC’s custody, despite various efforts by the Office of the Prosecutor. We encourage the Libyan authorities and the international community to cooperate fully with the ICC, pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011) and resolution 2259 (2015).
Japan is committed to supporting the implementation of the Action Plan provided by Mr. Ghassan Salame, Special Representative of the Secretary General in Libya. At the same time, we remain deeply concerned by the ongoing violence and insecurity in Libya, including human rights violations committed by all sides. This makes it more difficult for the Prosecutor’s investigation to progress. In this context, we note the analysis by the Office of the Prosecutor on possible investigations of alleged crimes against migrants and look forward to further updates.
Let me conclude by reiterating Japan’s continuous support to the activities of the ICC. Japan strongly believes that to ensure that the ICC effectively promotes the rule of law around the world, more countries should join the ICC, including the members of this Council. At the same time, the ICC and its States Parties should continue to listen to various concerns expressed and make efforts to enhance the ICC’s universality, so that it can gain stronger support for its work.
My delegation stands ready to work side-by-side with the ICC towards this end, and looks forward to further tangible progress on this agenda as well.
I thank you, Mr. President.