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    ‘World needs more justice than ever

    ICC President Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi: ‘the atrocities of the 20th century that led to the creation of the Court have not ceased’

    July 18, 2023

    AS the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague celebrates 25 years of existence there have been calls for more justice to tackle atrocities that continue in the 21st century.

    The President of the ICC’s Assembly of States Parties, Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, said:

    “Today the world needs more justice than ever.

    “The atrocities of the 20th century that led to the creation of the Court have not ceased and there is a growing erosion of multilateralism and the rule of law.”

    She continued: “In July 1998, the Court was an idea yet to be realised.

    “Twenty-five years after its creation, the hope is that more states will join this historical effort to maximise its potential to impart justice in our tumultuous world.”

    ICC President Judge Piotr Hofmański said that the adoption of the Rome Statute of the ICC “was a historic moment in the international community’s joint quest to end impunity for the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression”.

    He said that those who worked at the ICC were “advancing the Court’s independent and impartial mandate through concrete action”.

    “To do so effectively, we need the fullest cooperation of states, particularly taking into account the Court’s heavy workload, concerning conflicts and alleged crimes on four continents,” he added.

    ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan KC noted: “This milestone should be used to accelerate our action in transforming the long-awaited promise of justice into a reality for those communities we serve.

    “Our willingness to evolve, our focus on improving our work, and our determination to deliver results, will be central to deepening the impact of international criminal justice in the next quarter-century.”

    Osvaldo Zavala Giler, the ICC Registrar, said the anniversary of the Rome Statute “is a moment to recognise how far we have collectively come to ensure that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community do not go unpunished”.

    “The Court relies on the cooperation and support of its states parties, international organisations, and civil society to deliver on its mandate and contribute to the enforcement of international justice,” he added.

    Looking back at the work of the Trust Fund for Victims, its Chair of the Board of Directors, Minou Tavárez Mirabal, said the Rome Statute provided “a vision of reparative justice, with participation of victims ensuring that judicial proceedings are delivered as a form of reparations”.

    The TFV has received than €46 million through voluntary contributions from 52 ICC member states and from individuals.

    Adopted on July 17, 1998, the Rome Statute is the ICC’s founding treaty, ratified by 123 countries.

    It is the first permanent international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community: war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and the crime of aggression.

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