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DerriĂšre les murs du Palais de la Paix : permanence et changements de la Cour internationale de Justice

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S.E. M. Philippe Couvreur est arrivĂ© Ă  La Haye en avril 1982, oĂč il a d’abord occupĂ© le poste d’assistant spĂ©cial aux bureaux du greffier et du greffier adjoint de la Cour internationale de Justice.

Il a ensuite exercĂ© les fonctions de SecrĂ©taire, Premier SecrĂ©taire et SecrĂ©taire juridique principal, avant d’ĂȘtre Ă©lu Greffier de la Cour en 2000, et rĂ©Ă©lu en 2007 et 2014. Pour marquer l’anniversaire de ses dĂ©buts Ă  la Cour, il y a 35 ans, Diplomat Magazine l’a invitĂ© Ă  tĂ©moigner de son expĂ©rience unique au service de cette institution, des Ă©volutions qu’il a pu y observer, et Ă  partager le regard qu’il porte sur les changements qui ont marquĂ© la Cour et La Haye au cours des trois derniĂšres dĂ©cennies.
Philippe Couvreur avec le Pape Jean-Paul II prise le 13 mai 1985.
Je suis arrivĂ© Ă  La Haye en avril 1982 — de façon aussi inattendue que j’avais entamĂ© des Ă©tudes de droit treize ans auparavant (mais c’est lĂ  une autre histoire
) — pour occuper un poste temporaire Ă  la Cour internationale de Justice. La Cour Ă©tait alors la seule institution judiciaire internationale existante au plan universel. Son activitĂ©, particuliĂšrement faible Ă  la fin des annĂ©es 1970, ne pouvait en ce temps-lĂ  guĂšre laisser prĂ©sager du succĂšs que rencontrerait la Cour dans les dĂ©cennies Ă  venir. Mon bienveillant maĂźtre de Louvain, le professeur Paul de Visscher, fils du cĂ©lĂšbre internationaliste Charles de Visscher, unique juge belge Ă  la Cour, m’avait prĂ©dit des jours aussi sereins qu’heureux, Ă©coulĂ©s Ă  lire et Ă  Ă©crire des ouvrages dans la solitude des imposants murs de la bibliothĂšque du Palais de la Paix

Les mĂ©moires ont Ă©tĂ© dĂ»ment dĂ©posĂ©s dans l’affaire El Salvador c. Honduras dans la salle Bol le 1 juin 1988, l’affaire du DiffĂ©rend frontalier terrestre, insulaire et maritime.
En rejoignant la Cour, un frais matin d’avril, dont je garde un souvenir trĂšs prĂ©cis, le jeune juriste que j’étais dĂ©couvrit, non sans Ă©tonnement, une organisation de taille trĂšs modeste, le Greffe, qui en est l’organe administratif, alors composĂ© de moins d’une quarantaine de fonctionnaires. Le fonctionnement de la Cour reposait entiĂšrement sur cette Ă©quipe restreinte de personnel permanent, auquel s’ajoutait, selon que de besoin, un personnel temporaire pour faire face au surcroĂźt de travaux linguistiques et de stĂ©nodactylographie lors des sessions (publiques et privĂ©es) de la Cour. Je me rappelle avoir Ă©tĂ© frappĂ© par la personnalitĂ© haute en couleur de certains de ces traducteurs indĂ©pendants, dont la grande culture littĂ©raire m’émerveillait. Cette structure trĂšs Ă©conomique du Greffe impliquait une grande polyvalence de ses membres, et les SecrĂ©taires de la Cour — ses fonctionnaires supĂ©rieurs — Ă©taient appelĂ©s, en sus de leurs travaux de recherches juridiques, de prĂ©paration des documents de la Cour, et de rĂ©daction de la correspondance diplomatique, Ă  assumer eux-mĂȘmes l’essentiel des tĂąches linguistiques (traduction et interprĂ©tation) et d’information, ainsi que la supervision de nombreuses activitĂ©s administratives et logistiques.
La Grande salle de Justice, l’affaire Relative au Timor Oriental (Portugal c. Australie) ArrĂȘt du 30 juin 1995.
Il n’était nullement rare qu’un nouveau venu comme moi ait Ă  passer week-ends et nuits blanches au Palais de la Paix Ă  effectuer les travaux les plus divers
 allant jusqu’à imprimer et polycopier, sur de vieilles machines Ă  stencils ronĂ©otype, des dĂ©cisions dont la Cour devait donner la lecture en sĂ©ance publique le lendemain ! DĂšs mon arrivĂ©e au Greffe, j’ai eu le bonheur et le privilĂšge d’ĂȘtre initiĂ© et associĂ© Ă  l’ensemble des fonctions de l’institution sous la patiente supervision de personnalitĂ©s d’exception, tels que MM. Torres BernĂĄrdez et Pillepich, alors respectivement Greffier et Greffier adjoint. J’en ai retirĂ© le plus grand bĂ©nĂ©fice, puisque cette immersion sans prĂ©paration dans toutes les facettes de l’activitĂ© du Greffe m’a permis d’acquĂ©rir de ce dernier une connaissance unique — de l’intĂ©rieur — et sous tous ses aspects —, un acquis particuliĂšrement prĂ©cieux au moment oĂč j’ai Ă©tĂ© amenĂ©, bien des annĂ©es plus tard, Ă  assumer la dĂ©licate responsabilitĂ© d’en assurer la gestion au plus haut niveau. Devenir un fonctionnaire du Greffe au dĂ©but des annĂ©es 1980 signifiait accepter de se couler sans discussion dans un moule Ă  tous Ă©gards exigeant, et se donner corps et Ăąme, avec humilitĂ© et discrĂ©tion, Ă  l’institution, sans penser Ă  soi ni parler de soi. Depuis ces annĂ©es d’initiation, j’ai Ă©tĂ© le tĂ©moin de profondes transformations de la Cour, rendues inĂ©vitables Ă  la fois pour rĂ©pondre Ă  l’accroissement considĂ©rable de ses activitĂ©s, avec la disparition du monde bipolaire qui avait relĂ©guĂ© le rĂšglement judiciaire Ă  un rĂŽle quelque peu marginal, et pour saisir les opportunitĂ©s nouvelles offertes, notamment, par le progrĂšs des technologies et de la communication. Entre 1982 et aujourd’hui, le nombre de fonctionnaires a ainsi presque triplĂ© (il a quasiment doublĂ© depuis l’an 2000, annĂ©e de ma premiĂšre Ă©lection en tant que Greffier). L’organisation du travail a Ă©tĂ© progressivement spĂ©cialisĂ©e entre les divers dĂ©partements, juridique, linguistique et chargĂ© de l’information, qui furent crĂ©Ă©s en 1997, et les services techniques. Par ailleurs, les Membres de la Cour ne disposĂšrent pas, pendant longtemps, de « rĂ©fĂ©rendaires » — ils s’y sont d’ailleurs longtemps refusĂ©s—, et l’assistance apportĂ©e aux juges en matiĂšre judiciaire Ă©tait principalement rĂ©partie entre les fonctionnaires du DĂ©partement des affaires juridiques.
H.E. Philippe Couvreur avec la Reine Beatrix photo prise pendant le 50 eme anniversaire de la Cour (18-04-1996).
Les cinq premiers postes de juristes rĂ©fĂ©rendaires ne furent obtenus de l’AssemblĂ©e gĂ©nĂ©rale et crĂ©Ă©s qu’en 2002, Ă  l’issue de difficiles nĂ©gociations que je me souviens avoir menĂ©es avec beaucoup de plaisir et d’intĂ©rĂȘt ; le nombre de ces postes s’est progressivement accru, pour s’élever Ă  quinze aujourd’hui. Les divers dĂ©veloppements qui ont marquĂ© le monde au cours des derniĂšres dĂ©cennies n’ont pas manquĂ© de soulever pour la Cour de nouveaux dĂ©fis. Comme c’est le cas pour toute institution, elle n’a pu les relever en faisant table rase des enseignements de son histoire ni, Ă  l’inverse, en ne saisissant pas toutes les opportunitĂ©s offertes par le temps prĂ©sent. A ces diffĂ©rents Ă©gards, la Cour est certainement parvenue, au fil des ans, Ă  assurer un Ă©quilibre, toujours dĂ©licat, entre changements et continuitĂ©. La continuitĂ© de la Cour est bien sĂ»r inscrite dans son Statut, qui fait partie intĂ©grante de la Charte des Nations Unies, et reflĂ©tĂ©e dans ses mĂ©thodes judiciaires, qui ont Ă©tĂ© trĂšs largement Ă©laborĂ©es par sa devanciĂšre, la Cour permanente de Justice internationale, et hĂ©ritĂ©es d’elle. Cette continuitĂ© historique Ă©tait particuliĂšrement prĂ©sente lorsque j’ai rejoint le Greffe. Ainsi, en maniĂšre d’anecdote, divers hauts fonctionnaires alors en poste avaient eux-mĂȘmes cĂŽtoyĂ©, au dĂ©but de leur carriĂšre, d’anciens fonctionnaires de la Cour permanente. Tous nourrissaient Ă  l’égard de cette derniĂšre le plus grand respect. Il rĂ©gnait d’ailleurs dans les couloirs du Palais de la Paix une atmosphĂšre feutrĂ©e et dĂ©licieusement surannĂ©e, Ă©vocatrice de la dĂ©funte SociĂ©tĂ© des Nations. Je me souviens en avoir encore utilisĂ© maintes fournitures de bureau ! La continuitĂ© jurisprudentielle et procĂ©durale entre les deux Cours constitue pour les Etats une garantie importante de sĂ©curitĂ© et de prĂ©visibilitĂ© juridiques. Cette continuitĂ©, juridique et historique, de mĂȘme que l’expĂ©rience accumulĂ©e en plus de quatre-vingt-dix ans d’exercice de la fonction judiciaire, sont pour la Cour un facteur crucial de lĂ©gitimitĂ©.
H.E. Philippe Couvreur vec le Roi Willem-Alexander photo prise pendant le 70 eme anniversaire de la Cour (20-04-2016).
En mĂȘme temps, la Cour a eu, Ă  l’évidence, Ă  s’adapter aux changements du monde rĂ©el dans lequel elle opĂšre, comme aux nĂ©cessitĂ©s et opportunitĂ©s nouvelles de chaque Ă©poque traversĂ©e. L’une des transformations notoires auxquelles j’ai assistĂ© fut l’ouverture croissante de la Cour sur l’extĂ©rieur : longtemps Ă  l’écart, Ă  dessein, des organes politiques des Nations Unies, la Cour a souhaitĂ© se faire plus et mieux entendre de ces organes et des Etats membres. Elle a ainsi rompu avec ce qui Ă©tait parfois perçu comme un « splendide isolement » au sein des Nations Unies, mĂȘme si elle dĂ©fend toujours jalousement son autonomie. La Cour doit en outre dĂ©sormais Ă©galement tenir compte des nombreuses autres juridictions, internationales ou rĂ©gionales, qui ont Ă©tĂ© crĂ©Ă©es ces derniĂšres annĂ©es, et veiller, autant que possible, Ă  assurer l’harmonie du « concert judiciaire » que permet ce foisonnement de cours et tribunaux sur la scĂšne internationale. Davantage ouverte sur la communautĂ© internationale et ses rĂ©alitĂ©s, la Cour s’est montrĂ©e de plus en plus attentive, non seulement Ă  sa place dans l’Organisation des Nations Unies, mais aussi Ă  la poursuite des objectifs de celle-ci et Ă  sa mission propre au service du rĂšglement pacifique des diffĂ©rends internationaux. Des diffĂ©rends de plus en plus complexes, tant juridiquement que factuellement, en mĂȘme temps que politiquement plus denses, lui ont Ă©tĂ© soumis. En rĂ©visant constamment, selon que de besoin, ses mĂ©thodes de travail, elle a su les rĂ©soudre rapidement et efficacement, Ă  un coĂ»t particuliĂšrement modeste pour la communautĂ© internationale, tout en assurant le dĂ©veloppement du droit. Enfin, pour conclure sur une note plus prosaĂŻque, mais qui est loin d’ĂȘtre nĂ©gligeable, je ne peux taire la chance que j’ai eue de connaĂźtre l’extraordinaire dĂ©veloppement de la ville de La Haye au cours des 35 derniĂšres annĂ©es. Celle-ci offre aujourd’hui Ă  la Cour, comme aux nombreuses institutions internationales qui s’y sont installĂ©es Ă  sa suite, une qualitĂ© de vie et un cadre de travail uniques, qui sont trĂšs loin de ressembler Ă  ce que j’ai trouvĂ© en y arrivant. A l’image de l’imposante stature du Palais de la Paix oĂč elle siĂšge, symbole mondialement connu de la justice internationale, la Cour est une institution solidement Ă©tablie. En dĂ©pit des pĂ©riodes de doute ou de dĂ©saffection qu’elle a traversĂ©es par le passĂ©, son rĂŽle est unanimement saluĂ© au sein de la communautĂ© internationale et le recours Ă  ses services par les Etats n’a jamais Ă©tĂ© aussi soutenu. 35 ans aprĂšs, je continue de mesurer chaque jour le privilĂšge qui est le mien de servir au mieux de mes capacitĂ©s l’organe judiciaire principal des Nations Unies. —– Les photos dans l’article sont une courtoisie de la Cour International de Justice.

Traditional Ebru Art Workshop by The Embassy of TĂŒrkiye

Under the hospitable roof of the Embassy of the Republic of TĂŒrkiye, located in the heart of The Hague, an animated celebration of cultural heritage unfolded. Marking the remarkable milestone of the 100th anniversary of the friendship treaty between the Republic of TĂŒrkiye and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Dr. Lerzan Kayıhan Ünal, spouse of His Excellency the Ambassador Selcuk Unal, graciously hosted an enlightening introduction to Ebru art at the Turkish Residence.

The gathering was attended by members and friends of ASA, the Diplomatic Spouse Association of The Hague, including the spouses of the ambassadors of Egypt, Morocco, Germany, France, Brazil, Moldova, Kosovo, South Korea, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, among many others.

Members and friends of ASA attending the Ebru’s event at the Turkish residence.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Lerzan Kayıhan Ünal, the hostess, warmly welcomed the guests to the Turkish Residence, a historical Dutch cultural heritage building with a rich collection of stories dating back 290 years. She eloquently portrayed the shared history that this architectural gem has witnessed, serving as a silent witness to the evolving Turkish-Dutch relations and the broader history of The Hague.

As the day unfolded, the spotlight turned to the ancient Turkish art of Ebru, also known as marbling paper art. Dr. Ünal emphasized the significance of Ebru, a painting technique steeped in 1,300 years of Turkish culture. With water, paint, and brushes, Ebru artists create intricate patterns and symbols on the surface of water, a mesmerizing dance of colors and shapes that culminate in unique works of art. In 2014, Ebru was rightfully inscribed in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Leading the Ebru Art Workshop was the talented Mr. Okan Akın, a visual artist born and raised in TĂŒrkiye, whose passion for traditional and contemporary art shines through his work. With skillful hands and a wealth of experience, Mr. Akın guided the guests through the intricate process of Ebru, demonstrating the delicate balance between technique and creativity.

The event was made possible through the support of the Yunus Emre Institute in Amsterdam, an institution dedicated to promoting TĂŒrkiye’s language, literature, history, culture, and art on a global scale. By preserving and sharing the rich cultural heritage of TĂŒrkiye, the Yunus Emre Institute serves as a bridge between nations, fostering mutual understanding and appreciation.

Guests were treated to Turkish cuisine, courtesy of the timeless recipes featured in the book “Turkish Cuisine With Timeless Recipes,” published under the auspices of Mrs. Emine Erdoğan, spouse of H.E. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It was a fitting finale to a day filled with art, culture, and friendships.

Leiden University Literature Afternoon with Author Micheliny Verunschk

By Roy Lie Atjam

Leiden, May 13, 2024, the Embassy of Brazil in the Netherlands hosted the launch of the book “O som do roar da onça” or “The Sound of The Jaguar’s Roar,” which in Dutch is “De brul van de jaguar.” The book was written by the Jabuti Award-winning(2021) Brazilian author Micheliny Verunschk, who hails from Pernambuco, Brazil.

The launch took place in Room 1.01 of the PJ Veth Building at Leiden University. It is believed that Albert Einstein himself lectured in this very room while in Leiden. The attendees included the Consul-General of Brazil in Amsterdam Mr Alexandre Vidal Porto, Mr Felipe Ferreira Marques Cultural Attaché, students, special invitees, and members of Brazilian Studies Leiden.

Prof. Dr. Sara Brandellero interviewed Micheliny Verunschk, the author of “De brul van de Jaguar”, with Anne Lopes Michielsen serving as interpreter. During the interview, Micheliny elaborated on the significance of the jaguar, describing it as a figure of power, not subordinated, and venerated in the Americas. Micheliny’s approach as a researcher was unconventional; she did not use tape recordings and cameras. Instead, she engaged in conversations with indigenous people to familiarize herself with their way of life. She also drank Ayahuasca tea and underwent an initiation ceremony to ensure she captured the story accurately.

Brazil, book launch. Section of the audience

The novel De brul van de jaguar tells the story of one of the most shocking crimes committed in the name of science and colonialism. Two German scientists, the naturalist botanist Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius and the zoologist Johann Baptist von Spix. They took several objects from Brazil to Germany (Munich) as part of their scientific expedition, including thousands of plants, reptiles, insects, and other materials, as well as two children, the miranha girl Iñe-e and the boy Juri who were allegedly given as a gift. Once in Munich, Iñe-e and Juri became study objects at the university and proudly presented to the court of King Maximilian Joseph I.

“Speaking at the launch of the book “O som do roar da onça” or “The Sound of The Jaguar’s Roar,” which in Dutch is “De brul van de jaguar,” written by the award-winning Brazilian author Micheliny Verunschk, who is from Pernambuco, Brazil, Mr Felipe Ferreira Marques delivered the following address. It is both an honor and a pleasure to welcome you all to the University of Leiden for this special literary afternoon with Micheliny Verunschk, a distinguished Brazilian author celebrated not only in Brazil but now, thanks to the new Dutch edition of her book “O Som do Rugido da Onça”, also here in the Netherlands.

Dr Sara Brandellerdo, Micheliny Vernuschk and Anne Lopes Michielsen.

Micheliny Verunschk’s work serves as a profound exploration of the indigenous cosmologies of Brazil. Her narrative masterfully integrates elements of Miranha cosmology, among others, in a rich and complex system of beliefs that deeply connect the spiritual with the natural world. By including these indigenous perspectives into the fabric of her storytelling, Micheliny not only highlights these rich traditions but also invites us to reconsider the ways in which we understand history and the natural world.

Her literary inputs go beyond storytelling; they challenge us to reevaluate the narratives of Brazil’s colonial past. Through her powerful characters and their journeys, Micheliny offers a poignant critique of the historical injustices inflicted upon indigenous peoples. She reshapes our understanding of history, urging readers to acknowledge and reflect on the impacts of colonization that resonate to this day. Her work is a testament to the power of literature to question, to transform and to heal.

This event is not only a celebration of Micheliny’s work but also a recognition of the collaborative efforts that made this afternoon possible. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Marmer Publishers for their commitment to bringing this wonderful book to Dutch readers. Their dedication to sharing diverse voices is what brings us together today.

Furthermore, I express my deep gratitude to Ms. Anne Lopes. Translating literature is no small feat. Your skillful translation has opened the doors for Dutch-speaking audiences to experience Micheliny’s captivating storytelling.

And of course, our profound thanks go to Dr. Sara Brandellero, who will be guiding our literary discussion today. Dr. Brandellero’s expertise in Latin American literature is invaluable, and her insights will certainly enrich our conversation and understanding of Micheliny’s work.

As we proceed with today’s program, I invite you all to engage openly in the discussions, share your perspectives, and perhaps see the world a little differently through the lens of Brazilian literature. May today’s discussion inspire and provoke, leaving us with new ideas and a greater appreciation for the stories that shape our world. Thank you, I wish you all an enriching literary afternoon.” A reception and book signing session concluded the Brazilian-style book launching afternoon.

Papua Cultural Night at the Indonesian Embassy The Hague

Bird of Paradise

By Roy Lie Atjam

On Monday, May 6, 2024, the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Mr. Mayerfas, hosted a “Papua Cultural Night” featuring traditional dances and music from Papua. The performance was presented by Hgateri Akustik, a Papuan cultural group consisting of young Papuans from the Wonti ethnic group in Waropen, Papua.

The group, currently on tour in Europe, paid a courtesy call to Ambassador Mayerfas and performed at the auditorium of the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague. The event was well-attended, and the artists, dressed in colorful attire, presented a dazzling show of dances, music, and songs in both the Indonesian language and the Papuan vernacular. Mr. Manuel, a seasoned singer, captivated the audience with his celestial voice. The audience also had the opportunity to participate by joining in the dancing.

Hgateri Akustik, Papua Cultural Group.

Overall, it was a wonderful evening of entertainment and cultural celebration.

Hgateri Akustik from Indonesia to the Netherlands: a Showcase of Papuan Culture. Eighteen talented young Papuans fused in “Hgateri”  toured the Netherlands from 25 April to 8 May 2024 for a roadshow of Papuan culture. The group leader, Mr Andy Nussy, explains, “our mission is to introduce and promote the tradition of the Wonti tribe to the World”. In their performances, Hgateri shows the traditional values and wisdom of the Wonti etnic group, which include living in harmony with nature, protection of Cendrawasih (Bird of Paradise), the spirit of togetherness and gratefulness. The Wonti tribe, native to Waropen Regency, is one of more than 255 ethic groups in Papua, Indonesia.

Papua Hgateri Akustik / Indonesia Embassy The Hague.

During their stay in the Netherlands, Hgateri has staged in Steyl, Maastricht, Olst and The Hague. The group amazed the public during the “Papuan Heritage Cultural Day” (“Papoea-Erfgoed Culturele Dag”) at Missiemuseum, Steyl, on 27 April 2024. The workshop, followed by a stunning performance of traditional music and the Cendrawasih dance, were part of the ongoing “Birds of God” (“Vogels van God”) exhibition, a special showcase about Cendrawasih at Missiemuseum that will remain until 1 September 2024.

On 28 April 2024, the gifted young Papuans collaborated with the Indonesian Students Association in Maastricht to tone up “Nusantara Night”, a presentation of Indonesian cultural richness which included display of Indonesian traditional woven fabrics, exhibition of Pencak Silat – traditional martial art, a mini concert of Sasando – traditional musical instrument made of palm leaves from Rote Island, and more Papuan traditional music and Tari Perang (War Dance).

Hgateri Akustik, Papua.

After a week enjoying the warm Dutch hospitality, on 4 April 2024, the group engaged with the locals of Olst and surroundings at the “Bird of Paradise: Papuan Cultural Night”

(“Bird of Paradise: Papoea Culturele Avond”) at the Municipal Theater of Olst that went on from after dinner time until well past midnight.

Hgateri took part in “OUR COUNTRY: The Freedom Show” (“ONS LAND: De Vrijheidshow”) organized by the Indisch Herinneringscentrum (IHC) at the Sofiahof Museum in The Hague on 5 may 2024. The public was so thrilled with Tifa dance and Yospan dance that the group was requested to come back to the stage for one extra Sajojo dance after the show had –supposedly– come to an end. The rising Papuan youngsters made their final act in the Netherlands before a group of Friends of Indonesia on 6 May 2024 at the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague. There, Hgateri was able to quench the crowd’s yearning of Indonesia and revive their beautiful memories of Archipelago.

Hgateri is part of the Papua Youth Creative Hub (PYCH), a collaborative space for Papuan youth. PYCH focuses on 6 main programs: entrepreneurs, education and health, social and culture, Creative Industry, Farming and Fisheries, and Digital Innovation. PYCH strives to give economic value to the natural resources of Papua and encourage entrepreneurial movement in Papua through the youth.

The evening concluded with a banquet. The Papua Cultural Night, all left the Indonesian Embassy auditorium The Hague in high spirits.

XI Semana Iberoamericana de Justicia Internacional

La Haya – 24 al 31 de Mayo, 2024

Del 24 al 31 de mayo, la sede de la CPI serå el escenario de la XI Semana Iberoamericana de Justicia Internacional en La Haya, un evento coorganizado por el Instituto Iberoamericano de La Haya y la Corte Penal Internacional. Este encuentro académico anual se ha consolidado como una referencia en español en el åmbito del derecho internacional.

La versiĂłn final del programa, que incluye horarios y contenidos de cada actividad, estĂĄ disponible para su descarga en el siguiente enlace:

https://www.iberoamericaninstituteofthehague.org/attachments/article/160/2024%20Programa%20de%20la%20XI%20Semana%20Iberoamericana%20de%20la%20Justicia%20Internacional.pdf

Iranian President Confirmed Dead: Causes of Helicopter Crash Under Investigation

Tragedy struck Iran on Sunday morning as President Ebrahim Raisi, along with several high-ranking officials, perished in a helicopter crash in the mountains of East Azerbaijan province. Among the casualties was Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, marking a devastating loss for the nation’s leadership.

The confirmation of President Raisi’s death came from various sources, including Ali Reza Dawari, Head of the Communication Department in Ahmadinejad’s presidency, and Pir Hossein Kolivand, the head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society. Reports indicated that there were no survivors among the passengers on board the crashed helicopter. The president was reportedly en route to Tabriz, a city in northwestern Iran, following his visit to the border with Azerbaijan, where he inaugurated the Qiz Qalasi and Khodaafarin dams.

The helicopter was part of a convoy of three aircraft, highlighting the gravity of the incident and the scale of the loss. Rescue efforts were hindered by adverse weather conditions and rugged terrain, necessitating the use of drones to approach the crash site. Upon arrival, rescuers discovered the charred wreckage of the aircraft, further confirming the severity of the crash. Sadly, no signs of life were detected, reinforcing the grim likelihood of no survivors, as reported by Reuters and Iranian state media.

President Raisi, aged 63, had assumed office in 2021, making his tenure tragically short-lived. In the wake of his untimely death, Vice President Mohammad Mokhber is expected to assume the responsibilities of the presidency, contingent upon certain conditions.

According to Iran’s constitutional provisions, the emergency succession process requires the approval of the supreme guide, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who serves as the country’s highest authority and head of state. Additionally, the vice president assuming the presidency is a temporary measure, as they are mandated to call for elections within a short timeframe.

The loss of President Raisi and his accompanying officials leaves a void in Iran’s leadership, prompting mourning and reflection across the nation. As investigations into the causes of the helicopter crash continue, the Iranian people grapple with the sudden departure of their president and the uncertain road ahead for their country’s governance.

Thinking of You – The Hague 2024

Art Installation by conceptual artist Alketa Xhafa Mripa in support of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence

Location: The Hague City Hall, 03-28 June 2024 & Lange Voorhout, 18-23 June 2024

In June 2024, The Hague City Hall and the Lange Voorhout will be festooned with washing lines full of dresses donated by survivors of sexual violence in conflict and their supporters.

This landmark public art installation by the internationally recognized conceptual artist Alketa Xhafa Mripa will be a powerful homage to survivors of sexual violence in conflict worldwide. The artist created the installation in collaboration with the Mukwege Foundation, the Embassy of Kosovo in the Netherlands, and the Municipality of The Hague.

Together, through this installation, we are calling to draw a Red Line to end conflict-related sexual violence.

The Embassy of Kosovo in The Hague collaborates with Alketa Xhafa-Mripa to bring the art installation “Thinking of You” to the city, emphasizing Kosovo’s quest for justice and raising awareness of wartime atrocities.

Survivors SEMA Ukraine-Thinking of You

Introducing Thinking of You

The artist initially conceived the concept in response to the ongoing traumatization and social exclusion of survivors of sexual violence from the 1999 war in her native Kosovo. The first Thinking of You exhibition (Prishtina, 2015) was held in the football stadium in the capital of Kosovo, receiving international acclaim and attention.

Alketa has aimed to take this installation to other countries and to collaborate in solidarity with survivors of conflict-related sexual violence around the world. Since its initial launch in Kosovo and subsequent installations, Thinking of You has become a global symbol of remembrance and solidarity with survivors of sexual violence.

Alketa Xhafa-Mripa’s art delves into personal and universal themes encompassing motherhood, women, gender relations, memory, and the body. Through mediums like films, installations, paintings, and photography, she explores personal and collective experiences. Alketa, a Kosovar-born artist residing in London, brings a unique perspective shaped by her experiences as a refugee during the Kosovo War. Her work is deeply rooted in feminist values, advocating for vulnerable communities, particularly survivors of sexual violence and wartime rape. Collaboration and activism are integral to her practice, reflecting her commitment to challenging oppression and fostering new discourse.

“I use art’s transformative and restorative power as a vehicle for raising awareness, empowering, and giving a platform to survivors of sexual violence in conflict to come forward and speak up. We must reach everyone in society and use all means at our disposal to end this intolerable suffering once and for all. The first Thinking of You, in my home nation of Kosovo, became a collective act of listening and healing for the estimated 20,000 survivors of sexual violence committed during the war there. Bringing Thinking of You to The Hague is a powerful homage to the survivors from all over the world and a call to decision-makers to take action.” – Alketa Xhafa Mripa

Thinking of You art installation (The Hague, 2024)

From June 3rd to June 28th 2024, Thinking of You will be installed in the Atrium of the City Hall, and from June 18th to 23rd, the installation will be extended along the avenue of trees on the Lange Voorhout in The Hague—this time gathering dresses and shirts from survivors of conflict-related sexual violence across the world.

The dresses are collected from over 20 countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Colombia. This powerful collection is possible with the support of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Sexual Violence, and many national survivors’ networks. The installation is a testimony of the reality of sexual violence in conflict and its human consequences, challenging a wide audience to think more deeply about the lived realities of survivors around the world and mobilize key decision-makers to draw a Red Line against the use of sexual violence and take stronger action in preventing and responding to conflict-related sexual violence.

South-Sudan-Survivors-Thinking-of-You

With The Hague celebrated as the International City of Peace and Justice, there is no better place to present this exhibition. The installation will also commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on June 19th 2024, hosting a special celebration in the evening and officially bringing the exhibition outdoors along the avenue of trees on the Lange Voorhout in The Hague.

“Art can be a powerful tool to touch people deeply and raise awareness about the consequences of conflict-related sexual violence. On this occasion, we are excited to collaborate with artist Alketa Xhafa Mripa in carrying out this meaningful art exhibition together with SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Sexual Violence. It’s our wish that more people join us in drawing a Red Line against the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.” – Katrien Coppens, Executive Director at the Mukwege Foundation.

“Conflict-related sexual violence is a crime that strikes at the very heart of humanity and leaves the victims and survivors with an everlasting and excruciating pain. It is therefore our collective responsibility to act decisively and address the staggering reality of CRSV. This is why we are happy to collaborate with Artist Alketa Xhafa-Mripa, by bringing the power of Thinking of You art installation to the city of peace and justice.” – H.E. Mr. Dren Doli, Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

“This year marks 125 years since the First Hague Peace Conference, a historic gathering that laid the groundwork for international cooperation and conflict resolution by establishing the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The Municipality of The Hague is very honoured to host the Alketa Xhafa-Mripa art installation Thinking of You this year, from 3rd to 23rd June. Establishing a permanent global Red Line against sexual violence in conflict is imperative for peace and justice worldwide.”- MariĂ«lle Vavier, Deputy Mayor International Affairs, Municipality of The Hague

Israel’s Rafah attacks engender university disruption worldwide 

By Pia Comer

In recent weeks, Canadian and American universities including Ottawa, Harvard, Stanford, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been inundated by pro-Palestinian protests condemning Israel’s war in Gaza (Chaffin, 2024). Unbeknownst to most, the initial pro-Palestinian protests unfolded prior to the current surge of demonstrations with students occupying administrative buildings at Brown University in November and December 2023 (Mukherjee et al., 2023).

The revival of these protests has constituted of a new wave of uproar attracting significant media attention, and commencing at Columbia University on the 17th of April with an encampment of over fifty tents (Egan, et al., 2024). The demonstrations initially expanded across the East coast of America, with protesters beginning to occupy university campuses on the 22nd of April at Yale University, MIT and NYU (Looker, 2024). There have subsequently been protests in 45 of the 50 American states (Faguy, 2024).

Whilst news reports have predominantly focused on the protests occurring in the USA, the demonstrations have spread to Europe following Israel’s continued attacks in Rafah, impacting more than 25 countries worldwide (Faguy, 2024; Oguc et al., 2024). European rallies began in Spain at the University of Valencia on the 29th of April, and have since materialised at the University of Oxford, Cambridge, Newcastle, Sheffield, Birmingham, Lausanne, Geneva and Copenhagen with the recurring demand being to cease collaboration with Israel to various degrees ranging from terminating interaction with education institutions to that with any form of Israeli organisation (Oguc et al., 2024).

Ottawa University Students protest.

Student’s exigencies at Columbia University are analogous, consisting of: supporting a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war; amnesty for protestors; and the disinvestment from Israel, requiring the University halts financial ties with companies who do business in or with Israel, including Microsoft, Google and Boeing (Harte, et al., 2024; Noor, 2024).

There is considerable evidence of external influence and organisational backing within the demonstrations, with known members of far right and white nationalist groups appearing at various University campuses holding protests across America (Binkowski, 2024). During arrests in New York City on the 2nd of May, police reported that almost half of those protestors arrested at Columbia University were unaffiliated with the University (Yu, 2024). Groups organising the protests at Columbia include Students for Justice in Palestine, and Jewish Voice for Peace, an anti-Zionism endorsement group suspended by Columbia in November 2023 which is supported by the non-profit New York Civil Liberties Union (Allen et al., 2024).

Further evidence of extrinsic leverage is exemplified through the role in counter-protests at UCLA on April 30th of the international, non-partisan group, Stand With Us, who organised a demonstration with pro-Israel groups attacking the pro-Palestinian camp, and was subsidised by the United Jewish Coalition in partnership with the Israeli American Council (Bedi et al., 2024; Binkowski, 2024).

Evident similarities between protests at Columbia University, George Washington University and UCLA are exemplified through persistent rows of countless coloured tents with unused sleeping bags and well-organised meals, further indicating underlying an funding of the demonstrations (Jon Michael Raasch, 2024).

Subsequently, there has been considerable speculation as to who is sponsoring the demonstrations, with evidence that there is an overlap with President Biden’s donors including Soros, Rockefeller and Pritzker as well as the Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow – two organisations both backed by the Tides Foundation (Kapos, 2024).

Given the frequently violent nature of the protests, mass arrests have taken place, with 300 protestors at Columbia University and City College of New York being detained on the 30th of April (Prokupecz et al., 2024). Police responses have also included the use of pepper balls, tasers, and beating both students and professors (Andone, 2024).

The involvement of police in response to the pro-Palestinian demonstrations is notable as the first time Columbia University has authorised police suppression of campus protests since those organised in response to the Vietnam War in 1968 (Mansoor, 2024). This has contributed towards prevalent comparisons between the Israel-Hamas war and the Vietnam War in terms of its impact upon the presidential elections, with Independent Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, warning that President Biden’s approach to both the war and corresponding protests “may be Biden’s Vietnam” (Ruhiyyih Ewing, 2024).

Demonstration violence has also provoked reactive action from universities, with Columbia University cancelling graduations and both suspending and expelling students involved in the protests (Khalifeh, 2024; Pro-Palestine Protests: How Some Universities Reached Deals with Students, 2024). However, universities are not the only institutions implementing policy in response to the protests: as a result of Jewish students feeling distressed by the demonstrations, which they have accused of being anti-Semitic, Republican Representative, Mike Lawler, of New York and Democratic Representative, Josh Gottheimer, of New Jersey have introduced the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act which, if enacted, would implement a definition of anti-Semitism into federal law, ensuring that universities account for “anti-Semitic intent” (Mathur-Ashton, 2024) when examining claims of discrimination, as in the case of the current pro-Palestinian protests (Harte, et al., 2024).

Relative to the violence exhibited at American university campuses, the student protests occurring in Europe have predominantly been peaceful in nature, such as in the case of those at the University of Edinburgh whereby students are utilising hunger strikes (Kerr, 2024). European  demonstrations appear to be coming to an end, exemplified by the encampment at Trinity College Dublin ending on the 8th of May on the basis of an agreement between the university management team and protestors with the university acceding to divest from Israeli companies (Kerr, 2024; O’Mahony, 2024).

It seems likely that the demonstrations at American universities have also climaxed given that American students are beginning to return home following their commencements, with students at Harvard University halting their encampment on May the 14th following nearly three weeks of protest (Gray & WBUR Newsroom, 2024; Kuper, 2024). Whilst the turmoil of the pro-Palestinian student protests is abating, whether the placation lasts is questionable; through Instagram, the Harvard protestors coalition stated: “encampments are a tactic
 we believe the utility of this tactic has passed, and we have decided to re-group and carry out this protracted struggle through other means” (Kuper, 2024).

References

About | StandWithUs. (2020). StandWithUs. https://www.standwithus.com/about

Allen , J., & Brice, M. (2024). US college protests: Who are the student groups and others involved | Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/world/us/who-are-some-people-groups-involved-us-college-protests-2024-04-28/

Andone, D. (2024, April 28). How universities are cracking down on a swell of tension months into student protests over Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2024/04/28/us/student-protests-universities-israel-gaza/index.html

Bedi, N., Erden, B., Hernandez, M., Jhaveri, I., Lajka, A., Reneau, N., Rosales, H., & Toler, A. (2024, May 3). How Counterprotesters at U.C.L.A. Provoked Violence, Unchecked for Hours. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2024/05/03/us/ucla-protests-encampment-violence.html

Binkowski, B. (2024b). Protests, counterprotests over Israel’s actions in Gaza roil los angeles universities. Retrieved from https://timesofsandiego.com/politics/2024/04/28/protests-counterprotests-against-israels-actions-in-gaza-roil-los-angeles-universities/

Egan, M., Boyette, C., & Prokupecz, S. (2024). Columbia University main campus classes will be hybrid until semester ends; NYU students, faculty arrested during protests | CNN business. Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2024/04/22/business/columbia-tensions-passover-virtual-classes/index.html

Faguy, S. C. & A. (2024). What do pro-Palestinian student protesters at US universities want? Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-68908885

Gray, A., & WBUR Newsroom. (2024, May 14). Pro-Palestinian encampment ends at Harvard, but organizers say the protest isn’t over. Www.wbur.org. https://www.wbur.org/news/2024/05/14/harvard-encampment-clearout-police-gaza

Harte, J., Singh, K., O’Brien, B., & Hay, A. (2024). What is behind US college protests over Israel-gaza war? | Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/world/us/what-is-behind-pro-palestinian-protests-us-universities-2024-04-23/

Jon Michael Raasch, P. R. O. C. H. (2024). Who are the dark money groups behind the pro-Palestinian mobs? Republicans claim Biden mega-donors could be involved in “illegal activity” to help his re-election. Retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13401115/dark-money-groups-funding-anti-israel-college-protests-illegal.html

Kapos, S. (2024, May 5). Pro-Palestinian protesters are backed by a surprising source: Biden’s biggest donors. Politico. https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/05/pro-palestinian-protests-columbia-university-funding-donors-00156135

Kerr, S. (2024, May 17). Edinburgh student hunger strikers demand university divests over Gaza “complicity.” Www.ft.com. https://www.ft.com/content/e5ddee87-be2b-4283-8a1f-ecddbd95c368

Khalifeh, R. (2024, May 6). Columbia cancels main graduation ceremony after campus protests. Gothamist. https://gothamist.com/news/columbia-cancels-main-graduation-ceremony-after-campus-protests

Kuper, S. (2024, May 16). A university is not a tribe. www.ft.com. https://www.ft.com/content/1d716dfc-b5fa-4b84-be26-b72fd7bc05a8

Looker, R. (2024). Columbia University cancels main graduation amid protests. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-68965723

Mansoor, S. (2024, April 19). Pro-Palestinian Columbia Student Protests Continue After Arrests. TIME. https://time.com/6969335/pro-palestinian-columbia-student-protests-continue-after-arrests/

Mathur-Ashton, A. (2024, May 7). The controversy surrounding the antisemitism bill, explained. US News. https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2024-05-07/explainer-the-controversy-surrounding-the-antisemitism-bill

Mukherjee , R., & Gordon, S. (2023). Pro-Palestinian protests on the rise across the U.S. Retrieved from https://www.axios.com/2023/12/09/palestinian-protests-us-israel-gaza-war

Noor, D. (2024, April 25). Student protesters are demanding universities divest from Israel. What does that mean? The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/apr/25/divestment-israel-college-protests

Oguc, E. S., & Tiryak, A. I. (2024). Europe new center of student protests supporting Palestine. Retrieved from https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/europe-new-center-of-student-protests-supporting-palestine/3215973

O’Mahony, C. (2024, May 8). Student encampment and blockade at Trinity to end. Www.tcd.ie. https://www.tcd.ie/news_events/articles/2024/student-encampment-and-blockade-at-trinity-to-end/#:~:text=The%20encampment%20and%20blockade%20on

Pro-Palestine protests: How some universities reached deals with students. (2024, May 7). Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/5/7/pro-palestine-protests-how-some-universities-reached-deals-with-students/

Prokupecz, S., Egan, M., & Boyett, C. (2024, April 22). Columbia University main campus classes will be hybrid until semester ends; NYU students, faculty arrested during protests | CNN Business. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2024/04/22/business/columbia-tensions-passover-virtual-classes/index.html

Ruhiyyih Ewing, G. (2024, May 4). “Biden’s Vietnam”: Progressive lawmakers warn not to repeat campus protest history. Politico. https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/04/bidens-vietnam-campus-protest-israel-hamas-00156154

Yu, J. (2024, May 2). Protesters unaffiliated with CCNY, Columbia made up nearly half of arrests: police. ABC7 New York. https://abc7ny.com/columbia-ccny-protesters-arrested-quarter-of-them-not-affiliated-with-schools/14754563/

Government of St. Kitts and Nevis Appoints Joseph Borghese as Special Envoy for FDIs

In a strategic effort to boost Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) initiatives, the Government of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has appointed His Excellency Mr Joseph Borghese as Special Envoy for Foreign Direct Investments. H.E. Mr. Borghese, is a global entrepreneur, known for his remarkable ability to bridge diverse markets and cultures through innovative business strategies. With ventures spread across multiple continents, he excels in identifying unique opportunities in complex international markets. His entrepreneurial journey reflects a deep understanding of global economic dynamics and a commitment to sustainable business practices that benefit local and international communities alike.

The Ceremony of presenting the instrument of appointment to H.E. Mr. Borghese, was held recently by the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Liewellyn Douglas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

During the ceremony of the presentation of the Instrument of Appointment, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Douglas, who also served as the longest serving Prime Minister of the country from 1995 to 2015, stated:

“It’s my pleasure and honor on behalf of the Government of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis to have presented you a commission that sets out that you are now the Special Envoy of Saint Kitts and Nevis for Foreign Direct Investments, and that you shall fulfill your duties on behalf of our Government and People with honor and with distinction”.

H.E Joseph Borghese thanked the Minister reply:

“I am really honored to be appointed as Special Envoy for FDIs and I will work hard to implement sustainable investment projects in Saint Kitts & Nevis”.

The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis is a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and the United Nations. It serves as the financial capital of the Eastern Caribbean, hosting the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange, and the Eastern Caribbean Regulatory Commission.

The appointment of H.E. Mr. Borghese with this rank is a testament to the country’s dedication to improving its global economic stance through the advancement of FDI and digital FDI initiatives.

The Special Envoy position, a distinguished role within diplomatic law, is assigned to high-ranking diplomats or eminent individuals.

There are very few such special Envoys worldwide representing various countries where these envoys are charged with the broad representation of their nations across international arenas. Unlike resident ambassadors, who are stationed in specific locations, Special Envoys are tasked with wider responsibilities, encompassing extensive geographic regions and major international organizations, such as the United Nations and the European Union.

Special Envoys are chosen to work as surrogates for the Heads of the States, Heads of Governments and Foreign Ministers on a particular issue that requires sustained, high-level attention.

In his new diplomatic role, H.E Mr. Borghese will advise the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the government on a variety of investment issues. His aim will be to diversify the economy with the support of nationals who obtained citizenship by investment. The focus will be on reinvestments in the areas of renewable energy, technology, hospitality, shipping and sustainable agriculture.

In addition, Mr. Borghese will facilitate dialogue with European Union and other officials from international and intragovernmental organizations to explore and expand revenue sources. He will also be responsible for communicating with international development funds and investment funds that choose St. Kitts and Nevis for their FDI projects.H.E Borghese’s appointment as Special Envoy for FDI is a pivotal move by the Government of Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis to fortify its economic framework, attract foreign investments, and affirm its status as a premier hub for business innovation and growth.

For further information 

Government of St. Kitts and Nevis: www.gov.kn

Picture courtesy of Office of the Special Envoy for FDIs of Government  of Saint Kitts and Nevis

Isni Kilaj Released in Kosovo Under Strict Conditions

Isni Kilaj has been released in Kosovo on May 15, 2024, under strict conditions set by the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC). The decision for his release was made by a Single Judge on May 3, 2024, and later upheld by a KSC Court of Appeals Panel on May 13, 2024.

The Single Judge’s decision was based on the assessment that there remains a grounded suspicion that Mr. Kilaj committed offenses against the administration of justice either alone or with others. Additionally, it was found that there exists a moderate risk of flight and a risk of obstruction of criminal proceedings and further crimes by Mr. Kilaj. Despite this, the Single Judge deemed it unreasonable to extend Mr. Kilaj’s detention considering factors such as his nearly six months of detention, the potential penalty for the suspected offenses, and delays in the proceedings due to a recent request by the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) to suspend consideration of the submitted indictment.

The Court of Appeals Panel rejected the appeal by the SPO against Mr. Kilaj’s release, focusing on the conditions imposed by the Single Judge. Despite his release, Mr. Kilaj remains a suspect in KSC proceedings and is subject to strict conditions, including providing financial security to the Registrar, surrendering his passport and travel documents, reporting to the Kosovo Police on a weekly basis, refraining from making public statements regarding the KSC or related proceedings, and attending any required hearings.

The Single Judge emphasized that failure to comply with any of the conditions will result in the immediate issuance of a warrant for Mr. Kilaj’s arrest.

Statement of ICC Prosecutor, Karim A. A. Khan KC, to the United Nations Security Council on the Situation in Libya, pursuant to Resolution 1970 (2011)

On May 14, 2024, ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan KC delivered a crucial briefing to the UN Security Council in New York regarding the pressing situation in Libya. Recognizing the gravity of his statement and its significance in shaping international discourse and action, Diplomat Magazine is proud to publish the integral version of Prosecutor Khan’s address.

Mr President, Excellencies, it was two and a half years ago when I first had the opportunity to brief the Council in relation to the Libya situation, and in those remarks, through the lens of Libya, I called for what in effect was a paradigm shift for a new and constructive, new dynamic with this Council. I emphasised to all members of the Council on that day that I would prioritise referrals to the Court made by the Security Council, I would do my utmost to ensure more resources were given to Security Council-referred situations, and I also expressed the view that, in my respectful opinion, for too long the situation in Libya and also Darfur had been allowed to drift. And I was committed to use my best efforts, with the excellent colleagues that work in the Office, to change things, to bring a new dynamic, and to give impactful, credible results that we could show to the people of Libya, the victims in Libya, and also to the Security Council.

And it was six months after that initial briefing that I outlined and presented a renewed strategy in relation to Libya. I detailed four key lines of inquiry that we would take forward in order to deliver meaningfully, and I set out publicly benchmarks that would be applied to our work so we could collectively measure progress being made towards justice and accountability and the rule of law, and we could also candidly discuss challenges that we could address together.

It’s my respectful view that over the last 18 months we have indeed reinvigorated this work, and we have set a basis for the successful realisation of the objectives I set out in the strategic vision I detailed in April 2022. And whilst, as an officer of the Court, I can’t – I am constrained in detailing all the progress that’s been made, I can say that we have made strong progress in line with this renewed strategy.

In the last six months alone, as reflected in the report that we’ve lodged with the Secretariat, the Libya Unified Team has completed 18 missions in three geographic areas. They have collected more than 800 pieces of evidence, including video and audio material. They have taken more than 30 statements – interview statements, screening statements. And we’ve made significant progress in relation to the 2014-2020 period in terms of alleged crimes in detention centres in that period. We’ve continued to provide concrete, tangible, and meaningful support in relation to national proceedings involving crimes against migrants. And only in March, at the end of March, I hosted members of the Joint Investigative Team at headquarters in The Hague, in which we and the Team further detailed how we could achieve synergies to make sure the crimes against these most vulnerable individuals are properly investigated and prosecuted. Our work is moving forward with increased speed and with a focus on trying to deliver on the legitimate expectations of the Council and on civilians, on the people of Libya.

And today, in this, my sixth report to the Council, the 27th in total, I think that we have a landmark moment by announcing a roadmap in relation to what could be the completion of the investigative stage in terms of Resolution 1970.

In presenting this roadmap that’s detailed with greater specificity in the report, I want to be clear, we’re not cutting and running, we’re not finding a way to exit stage left, we’re not gradually foreshadowing a curtailing of our work, a lack of focus, energy, or vigour, we’re not saying that we can’t deliver. That’s something I professionally cannot accept. It’s something I think the Council should not and would not accept, because you have referred a very serious matter to the International Criminal Court under Chapter VII realising that justice was essential for the people of Libya. Rather, the roadmap I have detailed in the report represents, I think, a genuine, a dynamic vision for the fulfilment of the mandate that you entrusted to us. It details a focus set of activities that we’ll implement, God willing, in the next 18 months and beyond to significantly expand the impact of our action in the Libya situation.

ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan KC addresses members of the UN Security Council and H.E. Mr. Taher M. T. El-Sonni, Permanent Representative of Libya to the United Nations, on 14 May 2024. UN Photo/Manuel ElĂ­as

And the roadmap is a collective work. We are not the only operator on the international level. We have to work shoulder to shoulder with the authorities in Libya, with the Council, with all State Parties.

And there are positives. Only last month, my Deputy Prosecutor, Nazhat Shameem Khan, the Deputy Prosecutor of the Court with responsibility for the Libya situation, had a successful mission to Tripoli, had a productive meeting with the Attorney General, and also met with different civil society actors in Tripoli and also in Tunis. In the last reporting period, more than 25 such engagements between my Office and civil society organisations, and Libyan civil society in particular, have taken place, and we’ve also continued a dialogue with the Council through working-level briefings last month, outlining and trying to flesh out and give more details as to the proposed roadmap.

And based upon that, I present respectfully two key phases that are detailed in the written document.

The first is the intention, the hope, the target to complete the investigative stage from now and by the end of 2025. That’s the investigative stage of the situation. Of course, it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to require cooperation, candour, a can-do attitude from my Office, but also from the authorities in Libya. But that period, hopefully, will give rise to even more additional applications for warrants of arrest and also greater support by my Office to national proceedings in Libya. Complementarity is a foundation of the Rome Statute, but burden sharing is linked to that principle of complementarity, trying to understand from the Libyan colleagues, the Libyan Attorney General, where their problems are and trying to forge ahead with this principle that the rule of law can be effective and must be applied equally. In addition, and linked to that, we hope, and again it requires work, it requires focus, but we are trying to improve and reinvigorate our approach to fugitive tracking, to arrests. And with the help of Registry colleagues, the aim would be to give effect to arrest warrants and to have at least initial proceedings start before the Court in relation to at least one warrant by the end of next year.

The second part is judicial and complementarity [activities], because if that goes to plan, following the end of 2025, we want to move posture and try to help and support Libya. That can start now: technical assistance, burden sharing, trainings, know-how, use of artificial intelligence, technology, and technical skills of building these types of cases. And focus, again with Libyan colleagues, on arrest and tracking. And in parallel to all of that, we want to deepen on every level our relationship with the Libyan authorities under complementarity. It can’t just be with the Attorney General and the Deputy Prosecutor, or with myself and other individuals; it needs to penetrate all strata of the Libyan authorities. And they should know that they have in the Office of the Prosecutor, men and women that are not driven by any political imperative or interest but are really trying to give life and give purpose to the principle of equality before the law and the value of the lives that have been lost in Libya to date.

Crucially, the roadmap, I think, is something that the victims of Libya can look to as not hot air, not spin, but something impactful and meaningful to advance their right to justice. And I think it presents an opportunity to meaningfully deliver on Resolution 1970 that you passed in 2011.

But that is not a given, because we need continued, increased support from Libya. We need to walk shoulder to shoulder, together, not for our own individual interests or the interests of the ICC or for a government, but for the interests of humanity and the people of Libya.

And I think recently we’ve had very positive news. Multiple-entry visas have been issued by the Libyan authorities. That allowed my Deputy Prosecutor to go last month. There were missions also in December last year, forensic experts also went last year. The meeting between Deputy Prosecutor Nazhat Shameem Khan and His Excellency Al Sidieg Al Sour, the Attorney General, I think, was extremely important, particularly with regard to burden sharing and being candid in terms of what we can do and the mutual roles of the authorities and the ICC, and starting and deepening a dialogue that will strengthen not only the rule of law, but hopefully we can work and help strengthen together the Attorney General’s Office as well, if that is something the Libyan authorities wish to avail themselves of – that cooperation and technical assistance.

We anticipate in the next period there will be further missions from members of my Office to Tripoli. I think there’s enthusiasm – I don’t think that’s pitching it too high – of our opening an office in Tripoli. I think that will help complementarity, it will help the investigations, it will help the discharge of Resolution 1970 and the Rome Statute obligations. And so, plenty of positive news, given what I said previously on the difficulties caused by the lack of visas. In addition to the meeting with the Attorney General, it’s only right, Mr President, if I can also applaud and thank positively His Excellency Mr Zeiad S. S. Daghim, the Ambassador of Libya to the Kingdom of The Netherlands. I think his arrival has ushered in also increased candour, partnership, and dialogue that is being felt in terms of the cooperation, and I wish to applaud him and the Libyan authorities for that change.

But to march forward it does require solutions, not problems to every solution that is presented. This is a choice. It’s mindset also, from my Office and from the Libyans. The world is very imperfect. The law has some fundamental requirements that can’t be airbrushed away or diluted, but it can be a solution to problems that exist. And in my first briefing to the Council on this situation, I hoped, I prayed, I intimated that there was an opportunity that if a cause could unite this Council, naively perhaps, but I believed and hoped it would be the cause of international criminal justice. Which State is in favour of genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity? Which State doesn’t want to be a protector of the vulnerable? Which State does not want to be on the side of legality and against the kinds of violations that we see in so many parts of the world? And notwithstanding all the difficulties that surround us in a very often dysfunctional world, a world in which too many people feel exposed to the elements, I still think this presents an opportunity, if we work together, if we realised that continuing business as usual will lead us to the abyss and beyond, to do the right thing and look at people that have little shelter, that have suffered enormously for many different reasons, and that the rule of law must count for them.

So, a paradigm shift is still needed. It’s not going to be achieved by words, or a strategy, or a roadmap. It’s something that we all, individually, as States, as the Council, and as Libya, and my Office, we have to really try to be servants of something bigger than ourselves. If we can allow the law to breathe at this moment, if we can recognise that different States and different interests have certain situations that are politically difficult for them but realise that there’s value in an International Criminal Court that is not part of the political discourse, but is trying and endeavouring to be deaf to the noise but applying something that should be pristine and valuable, which is a yardstick of human conduct that should bind us all to keep us away from that abyss that I mentioned, it could yet be a moment of reawakening to change direction. Because otherwise, when one looks at Libya, when one looks at other situations in the world, whether it’s Ukraine, or whether it’s Palestine, or whether it’s the Rohingya, or whether it’s any other place one wishes to look at, we see issues.

And so, this is the time, I think, for the law to be allowed to breathe, as the Council has found, as a precondition for stability and international peace and security, which are direct responsibilities of the Council. To do that, Mr President, we need to understand that the Rome Statute, the Geneva Conventions, customary international law, and the UN Charter are part of the tapestry of civilisation that will allow us to survive this present inclement weather, this present perilous moment that we’re facing. If we are real and sincere that every human life matters equally, the rule of law must apply in Libya as it must in every other situation. We can only do that with your help, your support, your solidarity for something otherwise, that can be rendered irrelevant but something that can’t, and that is the law.

Mr President, thank you so much for the opportunity. I always remain ready and willing to engage with the Libyan authorities and also this Council. Thank you.