UK Pledges Support for ICC at War Crimes Meeting in London

  • Ministers meeting to provide extra support for war crimes investigations
  • UK vows extra financial and practical resources to ICC investigators

Over 40 nations will be represented at the meeting, hosted by UK Deputy Prime Minister, Dominic Raab, and the Netherlands Minister for Justice and Security, Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, at Lancaster House in central London.

It comes as the ICC issues arrest warrants against President Putin and Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, signifying an important step for accountability and international justice.

Ahead of the conference, the UK Government has offered new funding and support to:

  • provide psychological support for victims and witnesses of crimes, including those against children and conflict-related sexual violence
  • fund more UK experts to work for the ICC and help train investigators to use digital evidence to bring war criminals to justice
  • enhance ICC investigators' capacity to gather evidence of war crimes from publicly available sources such as social media and smartphone footage
  • develop a joint virtual reality project with the ICC to enable witnesses and victims to visit the Court virtually to help prepare for their testimony.

An additional £395,000 also announced today brings total UK support this year to £1 million, doubling the existing amount of extra funding provided to the ICC from the UK.

Other countries are expected to pledge practical and financial support for the Court and its independent investigations into war crimes in Ukraine to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.

UK Deputy Prime Minister, Dominic Raab MP, said:

We are gathering in London today united by one cause to hold war criminals to account for the atrocities committed in Ukraine during this unjust, unprovoked and unlawful invasion.

The UK, alongside the international community, will continue to provide the International Criminal Court with the funding, people and expertise to ensure justice is served.

Minister of Justice and Security of the Netherlands, Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius said:

As an international community, we must take responsibility for making sure that the perpetrators of the crimes committed during the war in Ukraine are prosecuted.

Together we must establish the truth, achieve justice and ensure security. The Ukrainian people have shown more than once they will have the last word on their future. They have been hardened but never broken. They might be angry and frustrated, but never defeated. They deserve our support in finding justice.

The conference will be opened with speeches from Denys Maliuska, Minister of Justice of Ukraine, Andriy Kostin, Ukraine's Prosecutor General and Karim Khan KC, Prosecutor of the ICC.

It will also include sessions on evidence gathering and co-ordination to progress investigations, as well as support for witnesses and victims so they have their voices heard without being retraumatised.

The Attorney General, Victoria Prentis KC MP said:

I witnessed first-hand the aftermath of the atrocities being committed by Russian soldiers during my recent visit to Ukraine.

They must know that they cannot act with impunity, and today's conference is key to driving international accountability for these horrendous crimes.

FCDO Minister of State, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Prime Minister's Special Representative for the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI), said:

The ICC plays a vital role in global efforts to end impunity for war crimes, and the UK is proud to support the court's investigations across the world, including in Ukraine as a result of Russia's war and illegal invasion.

Support for the ICC sits alongside the Government's broader effort to stand with Ukraine under its assault by President Putin. Alongside the United States and European Union, the UK has established the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group in support of Ukraine's domestic war crimes prosecutions.

The UK also provided a bespoke package of support to the ICC last year in the wake of Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, including:

  • £1 million additional funding to support investigations over the past year
  • A dedicated police liaison officer based in The Hague to lead on swift information sharing between the UK and ICC
  • Ongoing defence analysis and monitoring of events in Ukraine, including preservation of any evidence relating to war crimes
  • Delivery of war crimes investigation training to Ukrainian police on behalf of the ICC, in collaboration with the Norwegian Police

The UK has given over £2 billion to Ukraine so far and has pledged to match or exceed this figure in 2023.

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