6C: Crimes against humanity - joint Nordic statement

Joint Statement on behalf of the Nordic States (N5), delivered by Legal Adviser Julia Fielding , Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations.

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the five Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden - and my own country - Denmark.  

Crimes against humanity are among the most serious crimes of international concern.

Confronted with a rise in atrocity crimes worldwide, we must remain steadfast in our efforts to prevent these horrendous crimes and punish their perpetrators. The lack of a dedicated convention on crimes against humanity is a significant gap in international treaty law – a gap that the international community must fill without delay.

The Nordic countries are convinced that a convention on crimes against humanity would provide further impetus to the prevention and punishment of atrocity crimes. We therefore continue to fully support the ILC recommendation to elaborate a convention, and we continue to hold that the draft articles will serve as a solid basis for successful negotiations in an inclusive manner.

A convention based on the draft articles would contribute to strengthening national laws and criminal jurisdiction and promote inter-state cooperation with regard to the investigation, prosecution and punishment of crimes against humanity.

Last April, the Sixth Committee engaged in substantive and inclusive legal discussions on the draft articles. We think it was a constructive experience for the Sixth Committee to move beyond the procedural debate and we were pleased to note convergence of views on several aspects.

In closing, the Nordic countries reiterate our commitment to the process agreed by the Sixth Committee. We will continue to engage constructively with the view to take a decision on this matter in the 79th session of the General Assembly and invite all delegations to do the same.  Let us continue our constructive discussions and seek consensus around the ILC draft articles. It is time to deliver to ensure justice for victims of crimes against humanity.