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Statement by H.E. Mr. Sven Jürgenson, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN at the Arria-formula meeting on UNSC-ICC relations: achievements, challenges and synergies, 6 July 2018


Mr. President,

Estonia aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.
As a long-standing supporter of the International Criminal Court, Estonia highly appreciates this debate.

Mr. President,

Estonia is committed to promoting the respect for international law and the rules-based international order. For us, international law is an existential matter. It is of utmost importance to make full use of all the instruments and to act with full responsibility in preventing and ending conflicts. That includes the situations involving mass atrocity crimes. We need to strengthen our common efforts to bring an end to the conflicts and make perpetrators accountable.
It is unfortunate that the rules based international system – the foundation of the international community – is increasingly challenged and questioned. Yet, it is clear that the international community needs the Security Council to uphold and promote international law by responding decisively to grave violations of international law, including that of humanitarian law and human rights law.

In ensuring respect for international criminal law, Estonia is convinced that we need a more productive relationship between the Security Council and the ICC.
International criminal justice needs greater political support, and in particular from the Security Council. The Rome Statute reserves a unique role for the Security Council, as it can refer situations to the Court that would otherwise not fall under its jurisdiction, but the gravity of situation requires action.

The efficiency of the ICC inevitably depends on States’ cooperation to enforce its decisions. When States Parties do not comply, the ICC must be able to rely on the Security Council to intervene with full support. We note with concern that arrest warrants are outstanding for a number of individuals and the Court has had to deliver decisions finding a failure of a state to comply with its obligations to cooperate. We call upon all states and Security Council to take appropriate action to fully cooperate with the Court and to bring perpetrators to justice.

Mr. President,

Finally, as a positive development, Estonia welcomes the consensual decision adopted by the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute last year to activate the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression as of 17 July 2018. It is important to acknowledge that the crime of aggression is not just an abstract, political crime against another state. Similarly to the crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes it inflicts real human suffering and loss of life.

The international community should give the ICC the possibility to do its utmost to prevent any future tragedies.

Thank you, Mr. President!


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