This year is the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court. Commemorations of the anniversary began earlier this month with an Open Forum held in The Hague, The Netherlands.The event was attended by over 280 people, including members of civil society, ICC officials, and representatives of states and regional and international organizations. Links to video of the event, as well as photographs and the prepared written remarks from various participants can be found on the ICC’s website.
Convenor of the Coalition for the ICC, William R. Pace, said, “This event recognises the role of the variety of stakeholders involved in the adoption of the Rome Statute – states, regional and international organisations, and civil society, and aims to spur a global dialogue on advancing justice for atrocities. We call on all actors in the international system, organizations and individuals to organize 20th anniversary events throughout 2018 to raise awareness of this historic treaty and organization and commit to taking strides towards universal ratification and cooperation with ICC decisions, such as arresting wanted persons. Let us eliminate war and impunity for mass violence and repression.”
The ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, thanked the Coalition for the ICC and its membership from across the globe for their invaluable contribution to the cause of international justice, the establishment of the Court and marking this milestone achievement. “The creation of the International Criminal Court must surely be one of humanity’s proudest moments,” said ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. “Cooperation efforts need to amplify in order to secure long-term gains for justice.”
Further commemorations will continue worldwide throughout the year, including on July 17th, the Day of International Criminal Justice, and the Rome Statute’s official anniversary. The website for the Coalition for the International Criminal Court contains details of planned and tentative events, as well as links to further video and statements.