New York

12 December 2014

Secretary-General's message to reception organized by the Coalition for the International Criminal Court [ delivered by the UN Legal Counsel, Miguel de Serpa Soares]

It is fitting that the Coalition for the International Criminal Court is co-hosting this event together with the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations.

The Coalition has done extensive and invaluable work to cement a strong partnership between civil society and the Court.  The work that the Coalition undertakes with States Parties, specifically with regard to cooperation with the Court, also merits recognition. I commend Mr. William Pace for his leadership. We at the United Nations look forward to many more years of meaningful engagement with the Coalition. 

I would also like to acknowledge the leadership of the Permanent Mission of Germany for being in the vanguard of efforts to promote international criminal justice and the work of the International Criminal Court.

Let me also say a few words about Ambassador Intelmann. As the fourth President of the Assembly of States Parties, she oversaw a very challenging period for the Court, as well as for the Assembly. Her resolve was tested on numerous occasions, yet she demonstrated that she is willing to address the concerns of each and every State Party to the Rome Statute.  At the same time, she has remained resolute in pursuing the Assembly’s goal of universal ratification of the Rome Statute. Thank you for your service.

It gives me great honour to also recognize the exceptional contribution of Judge Sang-Hyun Song. President Song has been instrumental in the Court’s evolution from 2003, when its judicial work started, to this year, when the Court issued its first final judgment. The election of Judge Song as President in 2009 by his fellow judges speaks volumes about their high regard for his legal expertise and character. President Song, you represent a shining example of what an international judge should be and I commend you for your 12 years of dedication and outstanding service.

Minister Kaba, I would like to congratulate you once again on your election. Your outstanding human rights background and experience in international relations will serve you well in your new capacity.  Not only has your country, through your efforts, set a shining example with regard to its commitment to the International Criminal Court.  Your engagement with numerous African States has also contributed tremendously to promoting the universality of the Rome Statute.  When we met last week, I pledged my unwavering support to you, and I reiterate that commitment on the occasion of this reception.

Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the new judges who were elected this week. I wish you all a successful term as you make your valuable contribution to the Court’s ever-growing jurisprudence.

Finally Minister Kaba, I wish you a productive term as the Assembly of States Parties’ fifth President.  And I offer my best wishes to the Court and the Coalition for the success of this vital work.