New York

22 September 2016

Secretary-General's message to Annual Breakfast Meeting of the Informal Ministerial Network on the International Criminal Court

[Delivered by Under-Secretary-General Miguel de Serpa Soares, UN Legal Counsel]

I offer my best wishes to the Informal Ministerial Network on the International Criminal Court. 

I am proud of the strong bond between the Court and the United Nations.

We both strive to maintain international peace and security, to promote respect for human rights and to advance the rule of law.

We both seek to ensure that the gravest crimes of international concern do not go unpunished.  Justice is essential for lasting peace, stability and equitable development in post-conflict societies.

The Court is the centrepiece of our system of international criminal justice.

I commend you and the States you represent for the vital role you have played in supporting the Court in its important work.

My tenure has largely coincided with the lifetime of the Court, a period in which I have been privileged to witness the birth of an age of accountability.  I have done my best over the past ten years to foster its growth.  We must all do our utmost to see it to full maturity.

I will continue to use every opportunity to advocate the Rome Statute’s universal ratification and expand the family of States that cooperate to fight impunity.

The United Nations remains committed to solidifying its partnership with the Court.

This shared work is critical at a time when serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law continue to be committed in so many parts of the world.

It is critical for us to honour the dignity of the victims.

And it essential to uphold our common humanity.

Thank you again for your engagement and support.