Written answers

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

International Bodies

Photo of Gary GannonGary Gannon (Dublin Central, Social Democrats)
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390. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has held discussions to date with the US Administration regarding the need for the United States of America to sign up to and come under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court; if not, the reason for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38060/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Ireland is a State Party to the Rome Statue and a strong supporter of the International Criminal Court in its capacity as an independent and impartial institution with a key role in the fight against impunity. We believe that, as a court of last resort, the ICC does not substitute for national judicial systems – States bear the primary responsibility to investigate the most serious international crimes.

Ireland fully supports efforts towards the universality of the Rome Statue and we constantly seek opportunities to promote this. We, however, also respect the decision of any State not to become a State Party, including the United States. Non-States Parties can nonetheless support the fight against impunity and the role of the Court, as has been done under previous US administrations. I am encouraged by the positive approach of the current US Administration to international criminal justice and accountability.

Ireland, alongside other EU Member States, continues to regularly engage with the US Administration on a range of matters of international law, including the International Criminal Court. Ireland welcomed the decision by the United States to revoke Executive Order 13928 and thus to lift the sanctions against senior ICC personnel. We also welcomed the termination of the separate 2019 policy on visa restrictions on certain ICC personnel.

There are many examples of good cooperation between the US and the ICC, such as US assistance in arresting individuals indicted by the Court. Ireland and our EU partners appreciate our continuing discussions with the United States on how we can enhance cooperation and minimise any differences in our approach. The Biden Administration’s demonstrated interest in re-engaging with multilateralism, including with the International Criminal Court, is heartening, and we look forward to working with them on all multilateral issues.

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