The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - July 17, 2018
In this issue:

◢  ICC – 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute

◢  Central African Republic – Security Council Presidential Statement (July 13, 2018)

ICC – 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute

On July 17, 1998, the statute of the first permanent International Criminal Court was adopted in Rome by 120 countries so that those responsible for the most serious crimes could be brought to justice. The creation of a criminal court with universal jurisdiction represented an important step in the fight against impunity.

Indeed, the International Criminal Court is mandated to bring to justice people responsible for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity when national courts are unable or unwilling to do so. States maintain primary responsibility for trying the perpetrators of such crimes. Cases may be referred to the ICC by a state, a public prosecutor, or by the UN Security Council.

France, which played a major role in negotiating the Rome Statute, signed it on the very day it was adopted.

We are committed to the balances guaranteed by the Statute between legal traditions, court languages, and the court's independence, and the balance between the powers of the prosecutor and the rights of the defense.

Today, July 17, 2018, also marks the start of the ICC's jurisdiction over the crime of aggression, under amendments adopted in 2010 and a decision by the Assembly of States Parties adopted in 2017. The latter confirmed that, consistent with the Statute, the Court cannot exercise its jurisdiction should a case be referred to it by a State Party or at its own initiative, when the acts in question have been committed by a national of a State Party that has not ratified these amendments, or on the territory of that state. These amendments have not been ratified by a very large majority of States Parties, including France, which does not accept this jurisdiction. Indeed, it could lead to contradictory decisions by the Court and the Security Council on the existence of an act of aggression.

France supports the Court's operations, both through its budgetary contribution and its cooperation with the Court. It encourages the Court's bodies to continue their efforts to ensure that it carries out its mission effectively. It calls on all nations that have not yet done so to ratify the Rome Statute.

Central African Republic – Security Council Presidential Statement (July 13, 2018)

France welcomes the adoption by the UN Security Council of a presidential statement on the situation in the Central African Republic.

The Security Council thereby reaffirms its support for President Touadéra, for his efforts to restore peace and stability in CAR, and calls on the Central African authorities to immediately take all necessary measures to make progress in the dialogue with the armed groups and with respect to the promotion of national reconciliation, the re-establishment of the rule of law, the reform of the security sector and the fight against impunity.

The Security Council also reaffirms its deep concern in the face of the continued violence and the destabilizing activities of the armed groups and calls on the latter to immediately and unconditionally lay down their weapons and to commit themselves to the peace process.

The Security Council reaffirms its support for the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR and its roadmap adopted in Libreville in July 2017, underscoring the urgent need for progress in establishing an ambitious and inclusive dialogue with the armed groups and the various segments of society in the CAR. The Security Council underscores the importance of the role played by the African Union and the countries and organizations of the region in this respect and calls on them, as well as the authorities of the Central African Republic, to continue and to strengthen their efforts to implement the Libreville Roadmap.

The Security Council reaffirms its full support for MINUSCA, which plays a key role in the efforts to stabilize the country, while paying a heavy toll.

Lastly, the Security Council reaffirms its appreciation for the work of the EU military training mission in the Central African Republic (EUTM RCA) and calls for good cooperation between the Central African authorities and their international partners in order to ensure the gradual and lasting redeployment of the defense and internal security forces.

France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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