|Statement by Mr. QI Dahai, Chinese Delegate, at the Sixth Committee of the 59th Session of the UN General Assembly, on Item 146: International Criminal Court
New York, 14 October 2004
China has long supported the establishment of an impartial, independent, effective and universal international criminal court and attaches great importance to its positive role in punishing serious international crimes. The third session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute held in the Hague in September was the first to be convened at the seat of the ICC. China participated in that session as an observer delegation.
We note the progress made by the International Criminal Court in its work. It has in the past year made the transition from set-up operations into a new phase and has become an operational judicial institution. The intense preparatory work done by the judges, prosecutors and all other staff of the Court to this end has laid the groundwork for the effective functioning of the ICC. Their efforts deserve commendation. We hope that the spirit of coordination and cooperation that exists among the organs of the Court will set the tone for its future functioning.
Although the Court has not yet started to try cases, we note that the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) has currently opened two investigations in June and July respectively in the DRC and Northern Uganda. It is also conducting an in-depth analysis of six situations. The OTP’s stated prosecution policy takes a positive approach to cooperation and to the principle of complementarity and encourages State jurisdiction over international crimes to enable the ICC to devote its energy to the investigation and prosecution of main perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. To implement this policy, the OTP has established the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division (JCCD) in addition to the Investigation Division and the Prosecution Division. We hope that the OTP will maintain this positive approach to cooperation and a pragmatic spirit in translating its prosecution policy into reality so that the principle of complementarity genuinely forms a basis for the functioning of the Court.
With the investigations underway, the Court has already begun to play its role in punishing serious international crimes. The Court has devoted the bulk of its limited resources to the realization of the objective of the Statute, namely the punishment of the most serious international crimes. This will not only help to end impunity but also deter serious international crimes in the future.
The ICC has been charged with the task of fulfilling mankind’s aspiration for justice. This is a daunting challenge, and we hope that the Court will succeed in winning broad international trust and support through its impartial and effective work. The Chinese Government will continue to take a close interest in the healthy development of the ICC and is ready to work tirelessly for this purpose with all other countries.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.