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Speech by Catherine Colonna, minister for Europe and overseas 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 Felony Courtroom,

Girls and Gents,

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

The conflict of aggression that Russia alone determined to wage towards Ukraine, a sovereign state whose solely mistake was its need 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 each one of us round this Council desk have all embraced. Every one in all them has been overtly violated.

The conflict that started on February 24 has been accompanied by abuses and the destruction of civilian targets. There have to be accountability for the various violations of the foundations of conflict 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 immediately is easy: justice have to 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 be a global safety crucial, and I say this to all those that suppose that this conflict is just yet one more battle. If all the things is permitted right here, that can maintain true all of the extra elsewhere, making wars of aggression much more possible.

And lastly, justice is a political crucial. We should guarantee – we are going to 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 Felony 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 accomplished so, and it displays the significance of what we collectively consider is at stake. As you realize, the Courtroom will work along with Ukrainian and different related judicial authorities, together with these in France and in different international locations represented right here immediately.

In gentle of this, there have to be justice. France is due to this fact working with many different companions to strengthen the flexibility of all of those judicial authorities to gather proof and dependable data.

That’s the reason France has taken concrete motion. Final April, as quickly as data surfaced in regards to the crimes that have 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 details. Moreover, we donated a cell DNA-analysis laboratory. Now that the world has discovered of the brand new atrocities dedicated in Izium, we’ve 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 have to be grounded in details.

In fact, our assist extends to the Worldwide Felony Courtroom. This assist takes the type of each funding and personnel, who’ve been made obtainable to help the ICC magistrates and investigators, with due deference for the court docket’s independence.

Lastly, our assist extends to the entire judicial authorities that have to cooperate successfully with each other. To this finish, the Eurojust authorized framework was amended below the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union with a view to permit the Worldwide Felony Courtroom to participate in joint investigation groups that comprise judicial authorities from a number of international locations, together with Ukraine.

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

The truth that Russia selected to go to conflict below 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 legal justice system on the finish of World Conflict II. The Worldwide Felony Courtroom itself has identified the spuriousness of this false assertion.

This similar manipulation is at work when point out is made from referendums in territories that have 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 once 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 wish to conclude with a quote from a Russian writer. “We’ve to sentence publicly the very concept that some individuals have the proper to repress others. In retaining 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 united statesS.R. by itself territory. Sadly, not a phrase want be modified to explain the crimes that Russia is presently committing past its borders.

The ICC is investigating proof that, in accordance with its prosecutor, could also be proof of conflict crimes and crimes towards humanity. We’ll be taught of his conclusions in a while, however immediately, what we will – 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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