Opening remarks by the Permanent Representative Yuriy Sergeyev at the round table discussion on "Ukraine, accountability and International Criminal Court"
11 December 2014 22:57

                                                         
Distinguished participants,

We are profoundly thankful to the organizers of this panel. Its topic is especially relevant as we are witnessing ongoing grave violations of the core principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter and other international instruments.

Ukraine has faced foreign aggression in its worst manifestation: military intervention and occupation. Although the aggression has not yet been stopped and capacity of measures by the international community taken so far has not yet been fully explored, Ukraine has strong faith in the ability of the current system of global justice, peace and security to cope with those challenges by acting decisively and, thus, carrying into effect the norms and rules of international law.

If not dealt with, such violations may lead to unpredictable and even irreversible consequences that are detrimental not only for particular countries or regions but for peace and security globally.

In this regard Ukraine has high expectations for the International Criminal Court - the first permanent, treaty based, judicial body established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.

Ukraine has demonstrated its support for the international justice system created by the Rome Statute on numerous occasions, starting with its active participation in the 1998 Rome Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, followed by the signing by Ukraine of the Rome Statute on 20 January 2000.

Ukraine was among the first non-state parties which ratified the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the ICC – an essential mechanism for the effective functioning of the Court.

Ukraine accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in accordance with Article 12 (3) of its Statute. On 25 February 2014 the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine adopted the Declaration to the International Criminal Court on the recognition by Ukraine of the jurisdiction of the ICC over crimes against humanity, committed by senior officials of the country, that have led to extremely grave consequences and mass murder of Ukrainians during peaceful protests from 21 November 2013 to 22 February 2014.

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement signed on 27 June 2014 encourages Ukraine to work towards the ratification and implementation of the Statute. It is Ukraine’s strong intention to put an end to the impunity for grave international crimes by means of the Rome Statute and the groundbreaking international justice system it created.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has submitted to the President of Ukraine the legislative package that includes necessary amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, the draft Law on the Ratification of the Rome Statute together with ratification of the two 2010 Kampala amendments.

Taking into account the ongoing aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the draft Law includes the declaration by Ukraine concerning the recognition of the ICC jurisdiction with respect to any crime, provided by article 5 of the Statute, which was committed before the entry into force of this Statute for Ukraine.

On its part Ukraine will do everything possible to investigate and prosecute all crimes committed by the illegal armed groups of the «Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics», as well as by armed forces of the Russian Federation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.

Thank you very much.

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