Mr. President, The United States supports the peacekeepers of UNAMID who continue to play a critical role in the safety and security of the people of Darfur.
We are extremely concerned by the situation on the ground in Darfur. In light of the dangerous situation, we are pleased that the Council has recognized that the enabling environment necessary for a Darfur-based political process does not yet exist.
For any process to achieve lasting peace in Darfur, the ability of the participants to express their free will without fear of harm or retribution must be guaranteed. In Darfur, however, those who speak out are regularly arrested, tortured, or killed.
Mr. President, It is first and foremost the responsibility of the Government of Sudan to create these enabling conditions, and we strongly demand all parties to the conflict agree to an immediate ceasefire and engage in direct negotiation.
UNAMID’s role in bringing peace to Darfur is critical. It’s role, first and foremost, is to protect civilians and secure humanitarian access for millions of vulnerable people.
We are pleased that this resolution affirms that, based on reporting from the field—including UNAMID’s reporting on political, civil, and human rights — the Security Council, taking into account the views of the African Union, will determine whether the enabling conditions necessary for UNAMID to engage in further efforts related to the Darfur-based Political Process have been met.
As civilians continue to be targeted and bombs dropped in Darfur, the United States welcomes UNAMID’s focus on protecting civilians and ensuring humanitarians have the access they need to provide lifesaving assistance. And we call on all parties to the conflict to recommit themselves to serious, comprehensive political negotiations to bring an end to these atrocities.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Ambassador DiCarlo’s Remarks At an Open Security Council Debate On the International Criminal Tribunals For the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda
Presidents Robinson and Byron, Prosecutors Brammertz and Jallow, thank you very much for your briefings today. Judge Khan, congratulations on your appointment. And Judge Byron, thank you for your valuable service.
Mr. President, we open this debate on a day when Ratko Mladic is in The Hague. His capture, arrest, and transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is a milestone on the path to justice and reconciliation. We commend the Government of Serbia for apprehending Mladic, and we welcome President Tadic’s statement about his country’s commitment to apprehending the final ICTY fugitive, Goran Hadzic. Mladic’s capture means that he will now have to answer to victims for his alleged crimes, including the genocide at Srebenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995. It puts perpetrators of mass atrocities on notice: they will be held accountable for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. We expect all UN member states to take the steps necessary to bring to justice those indicted by the Tribunals.
Mr. President, we welcome the steady progress the Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda have made to increase their efficiency. We urge both Tribunals to strive to complete their work at the earliest possible date. We are mindful of the importance of doing so without sacrificing the high standards of a fair trial. We urge the Presidents and the judges who act as managers of the courtrooms to take every measure to ensure that trials and appeals are both expeditious and fair.
These Tribunals and their predecessors have had genuine historical impact. The establishment last December of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals demonstrated that war-crimes fugitives cannot escape justice. The Residual Mechanism will allow for the completion of those functions that will necessarily outlast the Tribunals themselves. Transfers of cases to national jurisdiction have been made possible because States have further developed their judicial and investigative capacities. Programs such as the Joint European and ICTY Training Project for National Prosecutors and Young Professionals are welcome efforts to help build such long-term capacity.
Again, we applaud the Tribunals’ work thus far, and we urge them to make the most efficient use of available resources. We also encourage the Tribunals to continue to work with the UN Secretariat and other relevant UN bodies to develop practical and effective methods, including retention measures, to address the staffing shortages and the problems of attrition highlighted in the Prosecutors’ reports.
Mr. President, the United States calls on states in the former Yugoslavia to cooperate fully with the ICTY, which is both a legal obligation and a key to Euro-Atlantic integration. We welcome the Government of Croatia’s continued strong record of cooperation with the ICTY and its commitment to continue to search for any additional information the Prosecutor requested. Croatia provided crucial witnesses and documents in the important case against Ante Gotovina and others, which proved critical to the Tribunal’s deliberations.
We appreciate Croatia’s reaffirmation of its commitment to support the ICTY through the conclusion of its processes.
Let me turn now to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The United States welcomes the May 2011 judgment in the case of former chief of staff of the Rwandan army, the former head of the military police, and the two former commanders of the reconnaissance battalion. This case was the second one concluded by the ICTR that involved the responsibility of former senior military officers. It represents an important step for the Rwandan people toward justice and accountability.
The United States also welcomes the recent apprehension of the fugitive Bernard Munyagishari in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We urge all states to cooperate fully with the ICTR in their efforts to locate and apprehend fugitives. We commend those countries that are cooperating with the ICTR to bring the remaining nine fugitives to justice. We encourage continued progress so that these fugitives can be swiftly arrested.
On behalf of the United States, let me thank the U.N. Office of Legal Affairs for its dedication and service to the Tribunals. Let me also again thank the Presidents, Prosecutors, Registrars, and their staffs for all that they do to promote justice under international law for the victims of war crimes and mass atrocities.
Mr. President, we will never be able to bring back those who were murdered in Rwanda or the former Yugoslavia. But Ratko Mladic will now have to answer to his victims—and the world—in a court of law.
From Nuremberg until today, my government has long viewed justice for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide as both a moral imperative and an essential element of stability and peace. We reaffirm those convictions again today.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Remarks by Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, At an Open Security Council Debate on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict
Thank you, Mr. President. I’d also like to thank Under-Secretary General Amos, Under-Secretary General Le Roy, and Assistant Secretary General Simonovic, for their valuable remarks today.
Mr. President, let me begin by commending the work of the United Nations and the brave local and international UN staff—from peacekeepers to humanitarian workers—who risk their lives to help protect civilians in harm’s way. We should not underestimate the challenges they face. All too many regimes are still willing to use ruthless and indiscriminate force in populated areas, and some deliberately target civilians, humanitarian workers, and journalists.
Last November, this Council debated how to promote and improve methods to protect civilians. Just weeks later, the world witnessed the extraordinary and ongoing courage of people in nations across North Africa and the Middle East, who have found their voices and are demanding to be heard. Many have taken to the streets to exercise their rights of expression despite, in some cases, brutal attempts at repression.
On March 17, this Council acted decisively to protect innocent civilians in Libya. Responding to the Libyan people and the Arab League, the Security Council authorized the use of all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian areas targeted by Colonel Qadhafi, his intelligence and security forces, and his mercenaries. This new resolution followed up on the unanimous Council vote in Resolution 1970 to refer the situation in Libya to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
Resolution 1970 underscored the importance that the international community attaches to ensuring that those responsible for the widespread, systematic attacks against the Libyan people are held accountable. The international community must remain united in the commitment to protecting civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack, to ending violence against the Libyan people, and to defending the universal rights we all share.
The NATO coalition operates within the mandate of the Resolution 1973, to enforce the arms embargo, no-fly zone, and conduct a civilian protection mission. NATO makes every effort to avoid civilian casualties.
In Syria, we are concerned about the continued reports of gratuitous violence against unarmed demonstrators. We therefore welcome the mission by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate alleged violations of international human rights law. We call on the Syrian government to allow journalists and human rights monitors to independently verify events on the ground to include reports of indiscriminate attacks on populated areas by Syrian forces.
Mr. President, we have seen real progress in efforts to protect civilians, but in Darfur and elsewhere, we still face serious challenges. Let me highlight three key areas where this Council plays a crucial role: improving peacekeeping missions, assuring humanitarian access in armed conflict, and ensuring accountability.
First, the role of peacekeeping. Consider the recent crisis in Cote d’Ivoire. The Security Council consistently responded to escalating violence there by urging the UN peacekeeping force to fully implement its mandate to protect civilians under threat of attack, culminating in Resolution 1975. UNOCI responded robustly to neutralize the threat of heavy weapons. We know that these actions saved many lives, based on the substantial weapons caches discovered in and around Abidjan.
We have seen progress—led by member states in concert with the Secretariat—to improve the tools, guidance, and resources to help UN missions identify and address the threats to populations in conflict zones. We must continue to learn from experience and provide better support to missions, including doing more to address sexual and gender-based violence. In difficult environments, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN has developed mission-wide protection strategies, including establishing community-liaison assistants and joint-protection teams to better protect civilians. We welcome these efforts.
Second, we must continue to facilitate humanitarian access into areas of armed conflict. Humanitarian personnel around the world all too often work in insecure conditions and lack access to vulnerable populations. There are increasing reports of attempts to intimidate humanitarian workers, impede their movement, and even target them directly. In Darfur, the humanitarian community’s efforts to gain regular access to those in need are being stifled by government restrictions on movement, particularly in areas where the Sudanese Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities or aerial bombardment. We must redouble our efforts to end such obstructions to humanitarian access and hold those responsible for these obstructions accountable.
Finally, accountability remains essential to ensuring an effective, transparent process of reconciliation after the guns have gone silent. The recent report from the Panel of Experts created to advise the Secretary-General on Sri Lanka alleges several violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in the final stages of the conflict, which may have resulted in the deaths of up to 40,000 civilians. We urge the Syrian* government to respond constructively to the report. Accountability and reconciliation are inextricably linked. It is in Sri Lanka’s interest to take concrete steps to promote justice, accountability, human rights, and reconciliation.
Mr. President, we have a window of opportunity to translate recent Security Council cooperation on civilian protection into lasting improvements in our response to crises. We must seize it—for all of our sakes, and for the sake of the innocent men, women, and children who rely on our collective action to defend them.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Remarks by Ambassador Rosemary A. DiCarlo, U.S. Alternate Representative to the United Nations for Special Political Affairs, on Sudan and the ICC, in the Security Council Chamber
Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to welcome Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo for his briefing to the Council and thank him for his briefing. We are pleased to hear about the progress being made, that is, that one case is proceeding and that some states and organizations are providing excellent cooperation. But the Prosecutor’s briefing and report makes clear that the Government of Sudan has not fulfilled its obligation to cooperate with the International Criminal Court under Resolution 1593—a binding, Chapter VII resolution whose importance was reiterated by this Council in our June 16, 2008, Presidential Statement.
The United States believes that those responsible for the atrocities in Darfur must be held accountable. Actions in Darfur affect the stability of Sudan as a whole. Despite the creation of a Special Court for Darfur and numerous committees established in 2005 to pursue justice for Darfuri victims, the ICC arrest warrants are still outstanding. We continue to call on the Government of Sudan to cooperate fully with the ICC, as required by Resolution 1593.
Continued violence in Darfur is undermining an already fragile humanitarian situation. During the past six months, the conflict continued to claim the lives of more civilians. The UN Panel of Experts confirmed that the Government of Sudan violated the ban on military flights over Darfur. Both the Prosecutor’s report and the Secretary-General’s report describe Sudanese Armed Forces and militia ground offensives, supported by aerial bombardments, in the Jebel Mara region and in North Darfur. These reports note that the government operations around Korma, Ain Siro, and Meilit all resulted in civilian casualties, the displacement of more civilians, and the destruction of public infrastructure. The Government’s recent actions are the very type of actions that led this Council to refer the conflict in Darfur to the ICC in the first place.
On top of this continuing violence, the Government of Sudan has contributed to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Darfur. We were able to temporarily narrow serious gaps in life-saving sectors created when the Government of Sudan expelled humanitarian nongovernmental organizations on March 5. But these efforts cannot necessarily be sustained over the long term. UNAMID reports that the international NGO presence in Darfur has been cut in half. This has dramatically reduced these groups’ ability to provide assistance to those in need. This Council must be vigilant in holding the Government of Sudan responsible for fully meeting the humanitarian needs of its population.
Those responsible for these atrocities must be held accountable. We also urge all states—including those not party to the Rome Statute—to refrain from providing political or financial support to Sudanese suspects indicted by the ICC.
Although the United States is not a party to the Rome Statute, the United States was pleased to participate last week for the first time as an observer to the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute. This decision reflected the U.S. commitment to engage with the international community on issues that affect our foreign policy interests. Ending impunity for crimes against humanity—including crimes on the staggering scale of those committed in Darfur—ranks high among our commitments. The United States will therefore continue to be supportive of the ICC’s prosecution of these cases, to the extent consistent with U.S. domestic law.
Mr. President, let me say a word about the African Union High-Level Panel on Darfur, chaired by former South African President Thabo Mbeki. On October 29, the Panel made several recommendations to combat impunity and advance the cause of accountability, peace, healing, and reconciliation. We welcome efforts to strengthen Sudan’s national legal system to let it deal appropriately with those who committed atrocities in Darfur. But efforts to strengthen Sudan’s legal system will not succeed unless they are backed by the political will to bring perpetrators to justice. The Mbeki report’s recommendations about a hybrid tribunal are worth further study, but we believe that the ICC’s prosecution of the key architects of the conflict in Darfur remains critical.
In conclusion, Mr. President, let me reiterate my government’s unequivocal support for the pursuit of justice and accountability for those who have committed atrocities in Darfur. We once again call upon the Government of Sudan to fully implement Resolution 1593.
Thank you, Mr. President.