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Speech by Catherine Colonna, minister for Europe and international affairs on the UN safety Council (09.22.22)

I’ll now make an announcement in my capability as France’s Minister for Europe and International Affairs.


Prime Minister,


Prosecutor of the Worldwide Legal Courtroom,

Girls and Gents,

It’s with the deepest concern that I tackle this Safety Council assembly dedicated to Ukraine, and extra particularly, the crimes dedicated there.

The battle of aggression that Russia alone determined to wage in opposition to Ukraine, a sovereign state whose solely mistake was its want to exist in freedom, flagrantly violates the essential norms of our shared constitution, the Constitution of the United Nations. The non-use of drive, the peaceable decision of disputes, and respect for different nations’ sovereignty and territorial integrity are rules that every one of us round this Council desk have all embraced. Every one in every of them has been overtly violated.

The battle that started on February 24 has been accompanied by abuses and the destruction of civilian targets. There should be accountability for the numerous violations of the principles of battle and different acts. Unspeakable crimes have been dedicated in Bucha, Chernihiv and so many different locations. The liberation of Izium led to the invention of additional atrocities carried out by torturers.

So, France’s message at this time is straightforward: justice should be our shared precedence. There will likely be no peace with out justice.

Justice is clearly essential for the victims, who’re entitled to recognition and reparations for his or her struggling. For the entire struggling that every sufferer has skilled.

Justice can also be a global safety crucial, and I say this to all those that suppose that this battle is just yet one more battle. If every part is permitted right here, that may maintain true all of the extra elsewhere, making wars of aggression much more seemingly.

And lastly, justice is a political crucial. We should guarantee – we’ll guarantee – that people are held accountable for his or her crimes, whether or not they dedicated them, ordered them or deliberate them. However it’s the very concept that such crimes, such assaults on our shared humanity, are potential that we should struggle with our phrases and actions.

A framework has been established for this function – an expert, specialised judicial system. At its apex is the Worldwide Legal Courtroom. Forty-three nations together with France have already referred this matter to the ICC. It’s the first time that so many countries have carried out so, and it displays the significance of what we collectively consider is at stake. As you recognize, the Courtroom will work along with Ukrainian and different related judicial authorities, together with these in France and in different nations represented right here at this time.

In mild of this, there should be justice. France is subsequently working with many different companions to strengthen the flexibility of all of those judicial authorities to gather proof and dependable info.

That’s the reason France has taken concrete motion. Final April, as quickly as info surfaced concerning the crimes that had been dedicated in Bucha, we despatched two groups of investigators to Ukraine. Over the course of three months, they helped the Ukrainian judicial authorities to meticulously and patiently set up the information. Moreover, we donated a cellular DNA-analysis laboratory. Now that the world has realized of the brand new atrocities dedicated in Izium, we now have determined to ship a brand new assist mission to help the investigators on the bottom. As a result of the place Russia employs disinformation and propaganda, justice should be grounded in information.

After all, our assist extends to the Worldwide Legal Courtroom. This assist takes the type of each funding and personnel, who’ve been made accessible to help the ICC magistrates and investigators, with due deference for the courtroom’s independence.

Lastly, our assist extends to the entire judicial authorities that must cooperate successfully with each other. To this finish, the Eurojust authorized framework was amended underneath the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union as a way to enable the Worldwide Legal Courtroom to participate in joint investigation groups that comprise judicial authorities from a number of nations, together with Ukraine.

The actions we’re taking have which means. It’s not solely a matter of combating impunity but additionally defending the integrity of our worldwide order.

The truth that Russia selected to go to battle underneath false pretexts is deeply stunning, as is its gross manipulation of an idea as weighty as genocide, which constitutes the “crime of crimes” and which served as grounds for creating a global prison justice system on the finish of World Struggle II. The Worldwide Legal Courtroom itself has identified the spuriousness of this false assertion.

This identical manipulation is at work when point out is fabricated from referendums in territories that had been taken by drive and subjected to terror. That is likewise true in situations the place sure people threaten us with the usage of all potential means after we are those, alongside others, who refuse to participate in any type of escalation.

Confronted with those that deprive phrases of their which means, it’s the mission, the duty and the duty of these of us seated round this Council desk to revive the which means of issues.

I want to conclude with a quote from a Russian writer. “We now have to sentence publicly the very concept that some folks have the correct to repress others. In conserving silent about evil, in burying it so deep inside us that no signal of it seems on the floor, we’re implanting it, and it’ll stand up a thousandfold sooner or later.” When Solzhenitsyn wrote these traces, he was referring to the a long time of crimes dedicated by the usS.R. by itself territory. Sadly, not a phrase want be modified to explain the crimes that Russia is at present committing past its borders.

The ICC is investigating proof that, in keeping with its prosecutor, could also be proof of battle crimes and crimes in opposition to humanity. We are going to study of his conclusions in a while, however at this time, what we are able to – and should – say is that these accountable will likely be discovered, charged and, finally, judged. The wait could seem lengthy for the victims and their households however they need to relaxation assured that the perpetrators won’t go unpunished. We owe it to them. Not solely will we owe it to them however our very safety is at stake, as are the common rules that bind us collectively.

Thanks very a lot. I’ll now resume my duties because the Council Chair and provides the ground to his Excellency, Jonas Gahr Støre, the Prime Minister of Norway.



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