"OPEN BRIEFING OF THE ICC PROSSECUTOR ON DARFUR"

 

Statement by Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg
 Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN
 Security Council, New York, December 13, 2005

 

Mr President,

 

I wish to thank Prosecutor Luiz Moreno-Ocampo for his second briefing on the evolution of the investigations in Darfur in accordance with the provisions of Resolution 1593. We are aware that his work has been carried out in the context of on-going violence and of a complex process of political transition. Despite these difficulties, his second report constitutes an accurate approach to the investigations and to the assessment of the level of judicial cooperation given by the Sudanese Government. As justice is crucial for establishing peace and ending violence in Darfur, Brazil reiterates its support to the ICC and to the initiatives taken by the Prosecutor.

 

Mr President,

 

Brazil deeply deplores the escalation of violence reflected in the increase in the number of civilian deaths and in attacks on humanitarian workers, which involved also the killing of African Union peacekeepers. The deterioration gives rise to an environment of fear and intimidation that can certainly harm the investigations. Due to the seriousness of the crimes and their impact on trials, my delegation hopes that the Prosecutor may collect appropriate evidence and information so as to be able to assess whether they fall actually within the jurisdiction of the Court for further action.

 

Considering the prevailing climate of insecurity, the establishment of a system for the protection of victims and witnesses is of paramount importance for the accomplishment of the investigative activities in Darfur. To move ahead with an effective investigation, my delegation encourages the Court to provide full protection for those who come forward to testify and conduct an active outreach campaign to explain the Courtís mandate and purpose.

 

Mr President,

 

In his report, the Prosecutor recalls that Resolution 1593 requires the Government of Sudan and all other parties in the conflict of Darfur to cooperate fully with the Court. We expect that the new Government of National Unity will indeed fully cooperate - including by facilitating interviews, protecting victims, and by arresting and surrendering persons subject to ICC arrest warrants.

 

The visit to the Sudan - by the end of February 2006, by representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor to meet with the Special Court and other relevant judicial bodies - as well as the preparation of a comprehensive report by the Ministry of Defense in preparation for future interviews, to be submitted by March 2006, are good indications of cooperation between the new Government and the ICC. Brazil also welcomes the written confirmation given by the Government of Sudan that it will facilitate these arrangements

 

As regards that cooperation, Brazil wishes to acknowledge that the Sudanese Government has provided the Prosecutor with requested information relating to the Sudanese legal system. We are pleased to learn that Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo is now gathering and assessing information on the various mechanisms established by the Sudanese authorities, including the Special Court for Darfur, established in last June. My delegation believes that this assessment process also comprises the Special Courts established in Geneina and Nyala, the centers for the elimination of violence against women and an attorney for Crimes Against Humanity.

 

Mr.President,

 

While we welcome the Sudanese efforts to fight impunity, we understand that Justice is not always an immediate corollary of law enforcement. Article 17 of the Rome Statute, as recalled by the Prosecutor, provides elements to determine if a national jurisdiction is acting in accordance with the principles of due process recognized by international law. We hope that in assessing the complementarity principle, the Prosecutor also considers the provisions of Article 17, subparagraph (c) concerning independence and impartiality, which, in our view, are sine qua non requirements to ensure criminal accountability and Justice.

 

Mr. President,

 

We commend the Prosecutor for his efforts in strengthening the cooperation of the ICC with neighboring countries and with the African Union. In this sense, Brazil would like to call upon the parties to sign as soon as possible the relationship agreement, between the ICC and the African Union, finalized in May 2005. The African Union has played a leading role in seeking peace and security in Darfur and the relationship agreement will provide the necessary structure for future cooperation, as investigations advance now into a decisive phase.

 

Finally, I would like to renew our support for the work of Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo. The Office of the Prosecutor has a difficult task before it. As we have already expressed, the referral was a historical step in the field of international criminal law, but equally important will be the outcome of the investigations and the promotion of justice.