Ministerial meeting to provide additional support for war crimes investigations Britain pledges additional 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 Dutch Minister for Justice and Security Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius at Lancaster House in central London.
It comes as the ICC is issuing arrest warrants for President Putin and Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, in a major step for accountability and international justice.
In the run-up to the conference, the UK government has offered new funding and support for:
Providing psychological support to victims and witnesses of crime, including those against children and conflict-related sexual violence. Funding more UK experts to work for the ICC and helping to train investigators in using digital evidence to bring war criminals to justice Evidence of war crimes from publicly available sources such as social media and smartphone footage is developing a shared virtual reality -Project with the ICC to allow witnesses and victims to visit the court virtually to prepare for their testimony.
A further £395,000, also announced today, brings total UK support this year to £1 million, doubling the existing amount of additional funding made available to the ICC from the UK.
Other countries are expected to pledge practical and financial support to the court and its independent investigation into war crimes in Ukraine to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.
UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab MP said:
We gather in London today, united by one cause, to hold war criminals accountable for the atrocities committed during this unjust, unprovoked and unlawful invasion of Ukraine.
The UK, alongside the international community, will continue to provide the International Criminal Court with the funding, staff and expertise to ensure justice is done.
Minister of Justice and Security of the Netherlands Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius said:
As an international community, we must take responsibility for bringing to justice the perpetrators of crimes committed in Ukraine during the war.
Together we must discover the truth, achieve justice and ensure safety. The Ukrainian people have shown more than once that they will have the final say on their future. They are hardened but never broken. You may be angry and frustrated but never defeated. They deserve our support in seeking justice.
The conference will open with speeches by Denys Maliuska, Minister of Justice of Ukraine, Andriy Kostin, Prosecutor General of Ukraine and Karim Khan KC, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
It will also include sessions to gather evidence and coordinate the progress of the investigation, as well as support for witnesses and victims to be heard without being re-traumatized.
Attorney General Victoria Prentis KC MP said:
I witnessed firsthand the aftermath of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers during my recent visit to Ukraine.
They need to know they cannot act with impunity, and today’s conference is key to advancing international accountability for these appalling crimes.
FCDO Minister of State Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI), said:
The International Criminal Court plays an important role in global efforts to end impunity for war crimes and the UK is proud to support the Court’s investigations around the world, including in Ukraine following the war and illegal invasion of Russia.
The support for the International Criminal Court comes alongside the government’s broader efforts to stand by Ukraine under its attack by President Putin. Together with the United States and the European Union, the United Kingdom established the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group to assist Ukrainian war crimes prosecutors.
The UK provided the ICC with a bespoke support package last year following Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, including:
£1m extra funding to support investigations last year A dedicated police liaison officer based in The Hague to ensure rapid information exchange between the UK and the ICC Crimes Provided war crimes investigation training to Ukrainian police on assignment of the International Criminal Court in cooperation with the Norwegian police
The UK has given Ukraine over £2 billion so far and has pledged to match or surpass that number in 2023.