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International Criminal Court and The Hague commemorate 25th Anniversary of Rome Statute

17 July 2023

The International Criminal Court (ICC) and the City of Peace and Justice, The Hague, proudly commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Rome Statute today. The Rome Statute was the founding treaty that created the ICC, and it has provided a powerful legal framework for prosecuting individuals responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.

"The Rome Statute has been a transformative force in the fight against impunity, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation and the rule of law,” said Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, President of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC. “It is an instrument to hold perpetrators accountable and to ensure justice is served, regardless of their position or affiliation. By establishing the ICC, the Rome Statute has significantly contributed to the global struggle for justice, reconciliation, and lasting peace.”

Since its inception, the ICC has conducted investigations and prosecuted cases in various regions and conflict zones, such as:

  • post-election violence in Kenya (2007/08);
  • Moammar Mohammed al-Qadhafi in Libya (2011);
  • pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara forces directing attacks on the civilian population in Ivory Coast (2011);
  • Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, ICC’s first accused convicted for the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Congo (2012);
  • and warrants of arrest for two individuals, Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Ms. Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova in Russia and Ukraine (2023).

Unfortunately the list is long. Through its work, the court has played a vital role in giving voice to the victims, addressing their suffering, and preventing further atrocities. The ICC's jurisdiction and reach have expanded, reflecting the international community's growing support for a world where impunity is no longer tolerated. However, challenges persist. The ICC faces obstacles in executing arrest warrants, ensuring cooperation from member states, and navigating complex geopolitical dynamics. The Rome Statute's anniversary serves as a reminder that there is more work to be done to strengthen the court's effectiveness and enhance universal support for international justice.

The ASP is hosting a photography exhibition for the anniversary called Common bonds: From the Rome Conference to today at the Atrium Den Haag in The Hague's City Hall, from 11 - 31 July. The exhibition brings together survivor stories from all 17 cases investigated to date by the ICC, with a particular focus on the people affected.

“For many years, The Hague has been a hub for peace, justice, and diplomacy. By remembering the past, we shape a future where justice and accountability prevail.” Said Mariëlle Vavier, Deputy Mayor of The Hague.

Please read the full story on https://storiesofpurpose.thehague.com/rule-law/working-together-more-just-world