Secretary-General's message to event on the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute [delivered by Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, UN Legal Counsel, and Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs]
New York, 27 September 2013
I am pleased to convey my warm greetings to all those taking part in this important event on the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute and I thank the government of Liechtenstein for hosting this gathering.
Aggression is the pre-eminent international crime. The act of waging a war of aggression was prosecuted at both the Tokyo and Nuremberg Tribunals established in the aftermath of the Second World War. Yet, when States gathered together some forty years later to negotiate and adopt the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, they were not able to reach agreement on a definition of this most serious form of the unlawful use of force; and although the Rome Statute provided for the Court to have jurisdiction in respect of the crime of aggression, the Court was consequently left unable to exercise that jurisdiction.
The negotiations that culminated in the creation of the International Criminal Court were historic. But without addressing these key questions involving aggression, the work of building an edifice of international criminal justice was not yet complete.
I am honoured to have been present at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala in 2010, where agreement was reached to amend the Rome Statute, defining the crime of aggression and setting out the conditions under which the Court shall exercise jurisdiction with respect to this crime. This was a major achievement and one in which the Principality of Liechtenstein played a central role.
Kampala completed the work of Rome. Just as important, it also completed the work of San Francisco more than 65 years ago. The Charter of the United Nations is founded on the prohibition of the use of force in international relations and on the suppression of acts of aggression. Under the Charter, the Security Council is given a key role in preventing and suppressing acts of aggression. Kampala can be viewed as completing the Charter architecture, by providing for the punishment of individuals responsible for this crime.
Ten States have ratified the Kampala amendment to the Rome Statute, the most recent being Cyprus, Slovenia and Uruguay. I encourage other States to follow their lead and I look forward to receiving many more instruments of ratification.
Thank you for your leadership. Please accept my best wishes for a successful event.
Statements on 27 September 2013
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Guinea [scroll down for French version]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks to the Security Council on the situation on Syria
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Statement by the Middle East Quartet
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the report of the IPCC Fifth Assessment
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks to Group of Friends Ministerial Meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Annual Coordination Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs [delivered by the Deputy Secretary-General]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks at the Eighth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message to Ministerial Meeting on Enhancing Preventive Strategies for the Responsibility to Protect [delivered by Mr. Adama Dieng, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the death of a peacekeeper for the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks at the Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Cooperation for the Rule of Law at the International Level
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message to Global Counter-Terrorism Forum [delivered by Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF)]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks at signing of Declaration on Establishing a Pacific Regional Data Repository for Sustainable Energy For All [as prepared for delivery]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks at his meeting with Pacific Islands Forum Leaders [as prepared for delivery]
- Stockholm, Sweden, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's video message on launch of IPCC Working Group I Report
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message on World Tourism Day