In The Hague, Netherlands, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today attended the official opening of the permanent premises of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which he called “a milestone in global efforts to promote and defend human rights and the rule of law.”
“International criminal justice is an integral part of the architecture of international relations,” Mr. Ban said at a ceremony chaired by the President of the ICC, judge Silvia Fernández, and Sidiki Kaba, President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Court’s founding Rome Statute.
The Secretary-General said he would continue to urge UN Member States that are not yet party to the Statute to ratify or accede to it.
“The International Criminal Court can continue to count on the full and unwavering support of the United Nations,” he said, stressing that both the Court and the UN strive to end impunity and ensure respect for human rights throughout the world. “Both seek to ensure that the rule of law will prevail,” he added.
The ICC completed its move to its new, permanent premises on 14 December 2015. The ICC needed a purpose-built facility designed for its activities, to fulfil its mandate in the fight against impunity for perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
The building complex consists of six towers that are connected on the ground and first floors and offer over 1,200 workplaces. The largest tower, the Court Tower, accommodates three courtrooms and the media centre. Since its opening on 1 July 2002, the ICC occupied temporary quarters in two buildings in another area of The Hague.