SC: International Criminal Court and Libya

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Odd-Inge Kvalheim in the UN Security Council meeting on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Libya , 23 November 2021.

Thank you, President. Allow me also to extend my congratulations to Karim Khan on his election as Prosecutor, and thank him for today’s briefing. Norway has been a staunch supporter of the ICC from the outset. And today the mission of the ICC- to fight impunity for the most serious crimes- remains as crucial as ever. Accountability and the pursuit of justice are key components for sustainable peace, in Libya and beyond.


Norway lends its full support to the political process in Libya- including the upcoming elections on December 24. It is critical that the elections are held according to plan.

Free, fair, and inclusive elections are essential for Libya to move forward, and avoid further destabilisation. Norway reiterates the call from Libyans themselves for: mercenaries, foreign fighters, and foreign forces to leave the country- as the decided in the ceasefire agreement just over a year ago, and agreed again in the 5+5 Joint Military Commission on 8 October.


Norway welcomes the Prosecutor’s prioritisation of situations referred by the Security Council. And we look forward to his next report which we understand will contain information on further  concrete steps to be taken.  Addressing impunity is critical to: stability, reconciliation, and sustainable peace in Libya. Resolution 1970 mandated the Libyan authorities to fully co-operate with, and assist the ICC. We call on the Libyan authorities, its partners, and the international community, to co-operate with the Prosecutor’s Office. We would also welcome even closer and more flexible co-operation with Europol and UNSMIL.  Norway notes that the Prosecutor’s Office continues the efforts to verify the death of two suspects.

We remain deeply concerned by reports of ongoing crimes, including: murder, forced disappearances, arbitrary detention in official and unofficial centres, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence. Prevention of, and response to, conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence must be a priority. And we should utilise sanctions where relevant and appropriate to counter such heinous acts. We also call for reinforced efforts to combat violence against migrants.


We look forward to continued cooperation with all Council members in securing accountability for mass atrocities. The Council must uphold its responsibility to fully support the Court- especially in cases it has referred to it. This includes ensuring adequate resources for the Court.


Please be assured that Norway’s support for the Court- and for your work Prosecutor- is unwavering.

Thank you.