UN chief calls on all nations to join International Criminal Court

International Criminal Court Headquarters in The Hague

30 April 2010 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on every nation to become a party to the Rome Statute that set up the International Criminal Court (ICC), stressing the vital role played by the institution in ending impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

“Only once every State has ratified the Rome Statute, and taken the necessary steps to make it enforceable at the national level, will there truly be no safe haven for those responsible for the most egregious crimes that can be committed against the core values of humankind,” Mr. Ban said in remarks at a panel discussion held at UN Headquarters.

“The ICC is the centrepiece of our system of international criminal justice,” he added. “To be successful, this system requires full support from the international community.”

Mr. Ban noted that universal ratification of the Rome Statute is one of the main challenges faced by the ICC, an independent, permanent court based in The Hague.

In this connection, he commended Slovakia on the role it is playing as facilitator for the plan of action for achieving universality and full implementation of the Rome Statute, as well as ICC President Judge Song Sang-Hyun for his outreach campaign.

With last month’s ratification of the Rome Statute by Bangladesh, this effort is now bearing fruit, the Secretary-General noted.

Mr. Ban said he will echo his call for universal ratification of the Rome Statute next month in Kampala, Uganda, when States parties meet to take stock of the Court’s achievements and to reflect on its future.

He pledged to do everything in his power to help the Review Conference produce a meaningful outcome, noting that the UN’s efforts to promote peace, development and human rights are closely linked to the work of the ICC.

“We need and want the Court to succeed,” he stated. “Our partnership is expanding, for example in the pursuit of justice in post-conflict societies. I am determined to push forward further still in our common fight to end impunity and strengthen accountability.”

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