Why back the International Criminal Court and the fight for global justice?

1. It is a Global Court for the powerless - Around the globe, victims of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are demanding justice and redress. By making the ICC and Rome Statute system of international justice truly GLOBAL, individuals suspected of committing these universally abbhored crimes can be held to account in courts of law around the world.

2. It is a Court of last resort - The ICC prosecutes individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. But only if governments don't do so first.

3. It gives us a path to global peace - Grave crimes threaten the peace, security and well-being of the world.

4. It is a symbol of hope – Throughout history, millions of children, women and men have been victims of unimaginable atrocities. In the 20th century alone, an estimated 200 million people died as a result of conflict, massacres and oppression. That’s around 1 in every 27 deaths. 

5. It is independent and impartial - One of the main achievements and pillars of the Rome Statute is the independence of the ICC, including the prosecutor and judges, from governments and from the United Nations Security Council. The ICC Rome Statute carries with it safeguards against politically motivated investigations and prosecution.

6. It is mandated by the international community -  By existing, the ICC is implementing its mandate as laid out in the Rome Statute, bravely fought for by the likeminde group of states. This is one of the most remarkable human rights and diplomatic achievements in history. 124 states are now members of the Assembly of States Parties. They must continue to defend the Court and provide it with support in difficult times. 

7. It is supported states and and civil society – The push for the ICC was driven by a ground-breaking alliance between states and civil society around the world. This is a movement to end impunity that has defied all the odds.

8. It is making progress - The ICC has made significant progress in holding high-level suspected perpetrators of atrocities to account. The Court has issued its first verdicts and thousands of victims are receiving reparations. It is true that the Court is not there yet - but it was only set up in 2002. We believe that by making the ICC stronger and ensuring states can fairly and genuinely investigate and prosecute crimes in their own courts.

9. It is a court for future generations - The ICC may stumble, but its full potential will be realized in the generation of our children.

10. It can contribute to preventing crimes - ICC investigations and prosecutions can contribute to a global effort to prevent genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes from happening in the first place. 

11. It stands for equality of all before the law - Because of the cornerstone Rome Statute prohibition of immunity, for the first time in history, we can bring all individuals - including presidents, generals and rebel leaders - to justice for grave international crimes.

12. It is a victim-centered Court - Victims of grave crimes are the reason the ICC exists. In this unique system, they can participate in ICC proceedings and receive reparations, including through the Trust Fund for Victims, to help rebuild their lives.

13. It is responding to the calls of victims - Victims of grave crimes have said time and again they want justice, either through national judicial systems or through the ICC.

14. It sets justice standards – Through fair, effective and independent justice, the ICC’s investigations, trials and staff must set the standard for justice for grave crimes.

15. It protects women and advances gender justice – The ICC is leading efforts to develop an international framework to prosecute those reponsible for horrific sexual and gender-based crimes around the world. 

16. It protects children and advances justice for children - Children suffer terribly by crimes under ICC jurisdiction. Hundreds of thousands of children are also forced to take part in these wars. The ICC's very first verdict was against Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga for enlisting and recruiting children under the age of 15 to actively participate in hostilities. 

17. It is a sound investment in peace – International justice is certainly not cheap in a world of ever rising prices. But consider this: the ICC $170 million yearly budget is a fraction of the costs of the conflicts that make justice and redress necessary. In 2015, governments spent $14 trillion on war.

18. It builds stable societies – Ratifying the Rome Statute brings states into a framework of international support to develop national laws and capacities to prosecute war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

19. It increases access to justice – Access to justice is goal 16 of the new United Nations Global Goals, agreed to by all UN member states.

20. It involves states in its governance – Through its governing body, the Assembly of States Parties, the ICC provides forum for states to shape the future of international criminal justice and to advocate for reform. Each state has one equal vote.

That's what we think. How about you?

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