International Criminal Court statute enters force; Annan hails ‘historic’ occasion

1 July 2002

As the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court entered into force today, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan hailed the “historic” creation of the world’s first permanent forum for trying individuals responsible for war crimes as a powerful tool for prosecuting and preventing atrocities.

As the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court entered into force today, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan hailed the “historic” creation of the world’s first permanent forum for trying individuals responsible for war crimes as a powerful tool for prosecuting and preventing atrocities.

The entry into force of the ICC's Statute "reaffirms the centrality of the rule of law in international relations," said Mr. Annan in a statement released in New York.

The Secretary-General said the Hague-based Court "holds the promise of a world in which the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are prosecuted when individual States are unable or unwilling to bring them to justice." The ICC, he added, would also serve as a potential deterrent to future atrocities.

"I congratulate all the States parties – currently 74 – on taking the lead in ratifying the Statute, and I appeal to all States that have not yet done so to ratify or accede to it as soon as possible," Mr. Annan said. "There must be no relenting in the fight against impunity or in our efforts to prevent genocide and the other horrendous crimes that fall under the Court's jurisdiction."

Meanwhile today in The Hague, an advance team for the ICC began its work on preparing for the Court to start recruiting and beginning its basic operations.

The team, consisting of eight experts, will work closely with the Government of the Netherlands on preparatory work before the first budget of the Court is to be adopted by its States Parties when they meet this September. At that time, recruitment and procurement can formally begin.

The States Parties to the Statute expect to elect a prosecutor and 18 judges for the Court in another meeting, scheduled for January.

image

Video

- Formal creation of the International Criminal Court

 

♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox - Subscribe here to a topic.
♦ Download the UN News app for your iOS or Android devices.