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26 February 2011 - Libya / Adoption of resolution 1970- Remarks to the press by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

In English and in French

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A wind of liberty and change is blowing through the Arab world and the Security Council has succeeded in responding to this new era of international relations.

In this resolution you have new steps for the international community.

First, responsibility to protect: in this very strong text we have recognized it, under chapter VII. You know what it means: if a government is not able to protect its own population, it means the international community has the right and the duty to step in.

The second important step is, of course, international justice. It is obvious that this referral is going well beyond Libya. it is a warning to all the leaders who could be tempted to use repression against this wind of change, this wind of liberty. We feel it, we felt it in the Security Council chamber, we feel it in the corridors of this organization. There is an earthquake going on, and it has reached New York. I don’t know if there will be a tomorrow. I do hope there will be a tomorrow. I do hope that responsibility to protect, international justice and sanctions against dictators will have a follow-up and that dictators will listen to what is happening even in the usually prudent Security Council.

Q : Quelle influence la lettre de la mission libyenne demandant la saisine de la CPI a-t-elle eu ?

Par définition le fait que le représentant permanent libyen, dans les termes les plus émouvants, ait appelé le Conseil de sécurité et la Cour pénale internationale a évidemment eu une influence dans les débats, en particulier sur nos amis africains.

Q : Article 6 excludes the citizens of non-Rome Statute members even for crimes committed by mercenaries, do you agree with that ?

It was for one country. It was absolutely necessary for one country to have that, considering its parliamentary constraints. It was a red line for the United States, it was a deal breaker. This is the reason why we accepted this unanimously.

Q : We noticed in the resolution that you asked for the help of the Arab league and the African union to facilitate the work of the Prosecutor. It gives him two month for his staff to inverstigate; for sure they will not be allowed access to Libya anytime soon... How can they get the job done ? Do you expect a report ?

Again, I am not an investigation specialist, but on all the TVs, on the Arab TVs , on the European TVs at least and the American TVs you see thousands of refugees fleeing from Libya and describing what they have seen, the atrocities.

Q : Il y a six pays membres du Conseil qui ne sont pas membres de la CPI. Ils ont quand même voté cette résolution. Quelle signification y voyez-vous ?

J’y vois une justification claire, c’est la reconnaissance de la justice internationale, c’est la reconnaissance de la justification de la cour pénale internationale, puisque même les pays qui n’en font pas partie lui font appel. C’est un merveilleux hommage à la justice internationale et pour la France et le Royaume-Uni -nous sommes les deux seuls membres permanents à être parties à la Cour pénale internationale, c’est une grande victoire pour la cause que nous défendons.

Q : Il y a dans la résolution une référence à l’article 16 du Statut de Rome. Quelle est son utilité ?

Aucune. Cette référence figurait déjà dans la résolution 1593 sur le Darfour. C’est une manière pour les Etats qui ne sont pas parties à la Cour pénale internationale de rappeler ce qui figure déjà dans le Statut de Rome, c’est à dire que le Conseil de sécurité a éventuellement le droit d’intervenir dans la procédure s’il le juge bon pour des raisons politiques. Ce n’est que répéter ce que chacun sait.

Q : If the killings start again, by this government, what additional measures can be taken immediately by the Security Council to stop the killing?

We have to realize that we are breaking new grounds. We are facing challenges that we have never faced. It think that so far the Security Council, with all its limitations, has reacted very strongly and has broken new ground. If tomorrow the situation worsens again, we will have to meet again and see what we can do. I have the impression that the fifteen of us are determined to act and react as much as we can.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU