– FINAL –
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States,
The Acceding Country Croatia1, the Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland2 and Serbia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, and Georgia, align themselves with this declaration.
The European Union and its Member States welcome the Secretary General’s report found in document A/67/213 on the implementation of resolution 66/93. We underline our continued support for a zero tolerance policy for crimes committed by UN officials and experts on mission.
While upholding the privileges and immunities of United Nations officials and experts on mission it is expected that international law and national legislation of the host State shall be respected by such personnel and no crime committed by them should go unpunished.
The commission of crimes of a serious nature by UN officials and experts on mission are hindering the mandate of the United Nations. Impunity of such crimes however, would have long term detrimental effects on the credibility of the Organisation and therefore its effectiveness.
Impunity should not be tolerated; for the victims, the host State and the reputation of the United Nations. In this respect, the EU and its Member States welcome the indication by the Secretary General in his report A/66/699 on special measures for the protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, that proper investigation will take place into allegations of criminal conduct when made against staff members and experts on mission.
We note that training and awareness-raising on United Nations standards of conduct should remain at the centre of the preventive measures adopted by field missions and welcome the implementation of such additional measures at UN Headquarters level by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support.
The EU and its Member States acknowledge that cooperation between States and the United Nations in investigating allegations of criminal conduct is essential. It is also crucial, with regard to the commission of crimes of a serious nature by UN officials and experts on mission, that the State of nationality of the relevant person establishes the necessary jurisdiction to investigate, prosecute and try such crimes when appropriate. We underline, in this regard, that States have to implement fully their obligations under international law, including applicable agreements. We note that five States have responded to the request for information from the Secretary General pursuant to resolution 66/93.
The EU and its Member States support the dual track approach, combining short-term measures and long-term measures to deal with existing jurisdictional gaps. We acknowledge the value of discussions regarding principles for an international legal instrument. We stand ready to consider a comprehensive legal framework within which alleged crimes could be investigated and prosecuted if necessary, thus enabling competent authorities to punish criminal conduct. We encourage other delegations to do the same.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.
1Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process
2 Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area