Secretary-General's video message on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the International Criminal Court
The Hague, Netherlands, 14 November 2012
Your Majesty, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Your Excellency Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, President of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute,
Your Honor Judge Sang-Hyun Song, President of the International Criminal Court, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, ICC Prosecutor, Your Excellency Mr. Uri Rosenthal, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to address you on this historic occasion.
Congratulations on a decade of invaluable work for the international community.
I commend the tireless work of the ICC judges and prosecutors.
It has been a long journey from Nuremberg and Tokyo -- a journey fraught with many doubts and difficulties.
But you persevered, and your steadfastness has seen us through.
The International Criminal Court is now firmly established as a fact of international life. It is the centerpiece of the world’s system of international criminal justice.
The entry into force of the Rome Statute heralded the dawn of an age of accountability.
Leaders and warlords can no longer perpetrate atrocities, safe in the knowledge that they will never be brought to justice for their heinous crimes.
Where once impunity prevailed, today there is an ever-growing emphasis on the responsibility of States to prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
If they are unwilling or unable to do so, the International Criminal Court is there to hold perpetrators to account.
We are moving step by step towards universal ratification of the Rome Statute.
The thirst for justice is a desire held by people of all races, of all political systems, on all continents.
With our Relationship Agreement as a sure foundation, the United Nations is firmly committed to the International Criminal Court.
A United Nations official was the first witness to appear in a case before the Court.
I myself participated in the first ICC Review Conference two years ago in Uganda. I was very encouraged that that stock-taking exercise strengthened the Court in important ways.
We will continue to work closely with you and support your efforts to bring to justice those whose crimes shock the conscience of humankind.
Thank you for your contributions to our global mission of peace.
Statements on 14 November 2012
- Djibouti, 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's message to Ministerial Meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [delivered by Mr. Haile Menkerios, Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan]
- New York, 14 November 2012 - Statement of the Secretary-General on Internal Review Panel Report on Sri Lanka
- Brasilia, Brazil, 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's video message to Inauguration of UN House in Brasilia
- , 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's message to Fourteenth Annual Conference of HIgh Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons [delivered by Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)]
- , 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's message to the opening of the 11th Session of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court [delivered by UN Legal Counsel Patricia O’Brien]
- New York, 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's video message for "Climate Reality Project: The Dirty Weather Report" Webcast, 14-15 November
- Qatar, 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's message to International Conference on Food Security in Drylands
- New York, 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's message on World Diabetes Day
- New York, 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's remarks at Memorial for Fallen Staff