International Criminal Court/Game Changer

International Criminal Court/Game Changer

Ambassador Christian Wenaweser of Liechtenstein (long standing President of State Parties to ICC/Rome Statute) and Jordan Ambassador to UN HRH Prince Zeid,(& ICC Committee on Crime of Aggression) met UN press in wake of UN Security Council resolution refering Libya/Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court. Prince Zeid, Ambassador Wenaweser and I are long time colleagues from Rome Conference (1998) and ICC Preparatory Conference (s).

Transcripts / Production notes / Scripts

Liechtenstein’s Ambassador Christian Wenaweser called the recent Security Council resolution on Libya which referred the continuous violent repression of civilian demonstrators to the International Criminal Court (ICC) “a decision of historic importance.”

Speaking to reporters today (1 March) at United Nations (UN) headquarters, Wenaweser, who is also the President of the Assembly of State Parties of the ICC, added that “for the first time in history” the Security Council had referred a situation to the Court by consensus.

Listing that the “widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity,” the resolution has directed the Libyan authorities to cooperate fully with the ICC in its investigations of the situation in Libya since 15 February 2011, while recognizing that the country is not party to the Rome Statute that created the Court.

The United States (US), which is also not a part to the Statute, was one of the sponsors of the resolution. The resolution, which was adopted last Saturday (26 Feb), was the first to be passed unanimously that refers a case to the ICC.

Wenaweser called this “an important development,” one that shows that the “US is looking a more positive engagement with the ICC.”

However, he added that it does not mean that “this will lead to a ratification anytime soon.”

Also briefing the press was Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, Permanent Representative of Jordan and Coordinator of the search committee for the next ICC Prosecutor.

Talking about the ICC referral, he said the "immediacy and urgency of the situation in Libya necessitated swift action" adding that the Court "is the address to which the Security Council must turn."

The Court’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, whose nine-year term is set to expire in June 2012, will conduct a preliminary examination of the available information needed to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation.

When asked about a particular clause in the resolution which relates to nationals of non-State Parties to the Statute and whether they could still be prosecuted if involved in the ongoing violence in Libya, Wenaweser said mercenaries acting on behalf of the Muammar Al-Qadhafi regime “do not fall under this clause.”

Once preliminary investigations are over, the ICC Prosecutor can then decide to open an investigation and if there is sufficient evidence, request an ICC Pre-Trial Chamber to deliver warrants of arrest or summonses.

Although Ocampo’s term will end in 2012, the next prosecutor is expected to be selected by the end of the year allowing for a transitional period between the two prosecutors.


Language: English

Year of Production: 2011

Length: 2:30 mins.

Country: Jordan


  • Muhamed Sacirbey, UNTV


  • Susan Sacirbey