Statement by Ms. Liis Lipre-Järma, legal adviser at the 67. Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Agenda item 83: “The rule of law at the national and international level”
aligns itself with the statement delivered earlier by the EU.
addition I would like to make the following remarks:
high-level meeting and declaration adopted on the rule of law illustrates the
progress towards unity and agreement on fundamental values.
welcome that the declaration adopted reflects the important role of the International
Criminal Court and the necessity to cooperate with the Court. As it celebrates its tenth anniversary, the
International Criminal Court enjoys increased international trust. An
impressive number of 121 countries – six less than 2/3 of the UN member states,
have already ratified the Rome Statute. Estonia calls upon all countries that
have not yet done so, to join the Rome Statute and to co-operate with the
is also crucial to ratify amendments to the Rome Statute on the crime of
aggression adopted in Kampala. Two countries: Liechtenstein and Samoa have led
this process by example and completed the ratification process. Estonia pledged
at the high-level meeting on rule of law in September 2012 to pursue ratifying
the amendments by the end of 2013.
commend the commitment by the United Nations to the ICC, especially its
continued cooperation with it by providing logistical support for its field operations
and submitting documents to the Prosecutor and Defence Council.
should also not forget that it is a primary duty of every state to exercise
criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes, and to
provide effective remedies to victims of past violations, including reparations
for the harm suffered. The ICC will only step in where national jurisdictions
are unable or unwilling to act.
brings me to the issue of the necessity to have in place national capacities to
investigate and prosecute serious international crimes. It is important that
justice and development communities cooperate in designing development
programmes with focus on justice for grave international crimes. It is essential,
because those responsible for the worst human rights violations are often the
very same ones who, by fuelling networks of corruption and organized crime,
keep societies in a poverty trap.
whether delivered by domestic or international institutions, is a necessary
prerequisite for sustainable development and security in a post-conflict
society. Impunity provides fertile ground for the recurrence of conflicts and
breeds instability. Thus it is no coincidence that the World Development Report
of 2011 refers to transitional justice as one of the core tools to avert cycles
of violence. We are glad that there is a separate paragraph in the outcome
document on the rule of law on transitional justice. It is, however, necessary
to ensure that informal justice mechanisms do not preclude access to the formal
justice system for those that need or desire it and that the serious
international crimes, including gender – based crimes, are dealt with only within
the formal justice system.
me also remind you of the contribution of civil society organizations. It is
regrettable that their contribution was not acknowledged in the declaration
adopted at the HLM on the rule of law. We must ensure that national voices are
systematically heard and placed at the centre of rule of law efforts. The
contribution of civil society is essential in this regard.
a society based on the rule of law has the necessary means to offer better
living conditions for its people, prevent corruption, and cure the ills that
result. Economists have repeatedly found that the better the rule of law, the
better off the nation. The recent experience of my own country illustrate this
point. The information revolution we experience these days has assisted Estonia
to successfully and rapidly transform itself into a rule of law based,
democratic society. Electronic solutions increase transparency and help to
prevent and cut down corruption. And they reduce costs. Most importantly,
however, they have increased the possibility to exercise fundamental rights and
freedoms and improve inclusive and responsible governance. We know well from
our experience in the 90s that even in modest circumstances, it is possible to
implement IT solutions and to re-establish or increase the trust of citizens
towards the state. This becomes especially essential in post-conflict
societies, where the lack of trust and participation provides fertile ground
for the recurrence of conflicts. Therefore Estonia wishes to share its
E-governance skills and experiences and to continue to facilitate exchanges
with partners worldwide.
2000 the Government of Estonia has held its meetings paperless. In that
connection let me commend the UN secretariat for its paperless approach here in
the 6th Committee. It is not only environmentally friendly, but has the
potential for tremendous cost saving. Estonia hopes that the 6th Committee will
lead by example on this matter to other members of the UN family.