07 November 2012UK Statement to Security Council
Let me thank the Prosecutor for her report on the situation in Libya.
It is just over one year since the end of the conflict in Libya and the Declaration of Liberation from the misrule of the Qadhafi regime. Despite recent security challenges, the political transition in Libya is continuing and the country is fast getting back on its feet. After 42 years, the fundamental building blocks for Libya’s successful political transition are continuing to develop. Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan has appointed his new government, including a new Minister of Justice. Civil society is flourishing and the economy is restarting: the 2012 budget projects a surplus, the stock market has reopened and oil production is back to near pre-conflict levels. The international community continues to play a role to support the political transition, providing technical assistance to meet Libya’s needs.
The General National Congress (GNC) and the recently appointed Libyan Government are leading the process of building a new peaceful and prosperous Libya. In his address to the UN General Assembly last month, the new President of the Libyan GNC reiterated the determination of the Libyan people to ensure human rights are respected.
We urge the Libyan authorities to ensure that they meet these public commitments. In that regard, we welcome their close cooperation with the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry, which has now completed its work. The Libyan government should investigate and hold to account all those guilty of abuses and press forward with implementation of the Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations.
Addressing security and transitional justice are the immediate challenges for the Libyan government. We stand ready to assist the Libyan government in building up accountable and transparent security and justice institutions to improve security and address outstanding issues.
The United Kingdom is a strong supporter of the ICC. We note the detailed work of the Prosecutor and her Office during visits to Libya over the past year and thank her and her staff. Their efforts have played an important part in challenging impunity and bringing accountability to a country where this has been sadly lacking for some time.
The United Kingdom fully supports the ICC’s investigations into crimes against humanity, including those involving sexual violence. We believe there is more that can – and must - be done to combat this issue and particularly to address the culture of impunity for these crimes that has been allowed to develop. We are exploring options to support the development of capacity within Libya to address this issue as part of the Foreign Secretary’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.
Libya’s continued cooperation with the ICC in relation to the arrest warrant issued against Saif al-Islam Qadhafi for suspected crimes against humanity is essential. We note that the Libyan authorities have submitted an admissibility challenge setting out the ongoing Libyan investigations into his alleged crimes, and that the Prosecutor and her Office have suspended its investigations pending a ruling from the ICC Judges on this case. We encourage the ICC and the Libyan government to work together to address matters arising out of the events in June. More generally we are pleased that Libya and the ICC are continuing to engage constructively on issues relating to the ICC proceedings.
It is important that the detention of both Abdullah al-Senussi and Saif al-Islam Qadhafi is in accordance with international law, that they have access to legal advisers, and that any potential trial held in Libya is consistent with Libya’s international human rights obligations.
The authorities of the United Kingdom have played a part in the ICC’s investigations so far, by providing the fullest support, as and when requested, to the Prosecutor and her team of investigators. We will continue to do so.
Thank you, Mr President.