Launch of Rome Statute 20 commemorations 

Opening forums, 15-16 February, The Hague

February 2018 saw the launch of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court's Rome Statute 20th anniversary commemorations with two days of forums convening global civil society, government leaders and court officials in The Hague, the Netherlands.

On Thursday, 15th February 2018 a high-level forum with interventions and statements from the Coalition convenor, civil society representatives, the ICC president and ICC prosecutor, the ASP president, the UN secretary-general and UN human rights chief, and the European Union high representative for foreign affairs, among others, took place at the permanent premises of the International Criminal Court.

"This event recognises the role of the variety of stakeholders involved in the adoption of the Rome Statute – states, regional and international organisations, and civil society, and aims to spur a global dialogue on advancing justice for atrocities," said the Convenor of the Coalition for the ICC, William R. Pace. "We call on all actors in the international system, organizations and individuals to organize 20th anniversary events throughout 2018 to raise awareness of this historic treaty and organization and commit to taking strides towards universal ratification and cooperation with ICC decisions, such as arresting wanted persons. Let us eliminate war and impunity for mass violence and repression." 

Read more statements from the event in the ICC press release

Public interactive forums also took place at the Peace Palace on 16 February, with a focus on the historical significance of the Rome Statute in the creation of the court and the development of international criminal justice.

The Rome Statute is the ground-breaking treaty that established the ICC, the only permanent judicial mechanism mandated to investigate and prosecute genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression.

At the launch, and throughout the year, while celebrating this historic advance in peace, justice, and international law, the Coalition will also take stock of the treaty and the international justice system it created - from its progressive provisions to unexpected lacunae; from its idealistic vision to an increasingly challenging political reality.

Our events in The Hague also aims to recognise the role of the variety of stakeholders involved in its adoption – states, regional and international organisations, and civil society - and to spur a global dialogue on advancing justice for atrocities. 

Scroll down for videos from the events as well as written and video statements marking the 20th anniversary. 

See photos from the Opening Forum at the ICC. 

Stay tuned for more on how to take part in the 20th anniversary of the ICC Rome Statute.

Coalition for the ICC commemorates 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute

Africa Press Organization report, 17 February 2018

 

Coalition for the ICC forum launching the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute

International Criminal Court full event recording, 15 February 2018

Rome Statute 20 events

May 2018: SCL Rome Statute 20 special, ICC-NGO roundtables, The Hague

17 July 2018: Various events TBC, International Justice Day 2018, ICC, The Hague 

19-20 October 2018: "20th Anniversary of the Rome Statute: Law, Justice and Politics", Nuremberg Forum 2018,  Nuremberg, Germany

Written statements on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute

António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

Judge Fernández de Gurmendi President of the International Criminal Court

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey, Former Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations Former Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Professor Roy S Lee, Former Executive Secretary for the United Nations Diplomatic Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court

Professor Lucius Caflisch, Former Legal Advisor for the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland Chairman of the International Law Commission

Justice Richard Goldstone, Former Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda Chair of the Advisory Board of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. 

Philippe Kirsch, Former Chairman of the Committee of the Whole of the Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of the ICC; Former Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the ICC; Former Judge and President of the ICC; Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Nominations of Judges.

Professor Daniel Nsereko, Judge, Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Dr Hans Corell, Ambassador, Former Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel of the United Nations

Jonathan O’Donohue , Amnesty International Legal Adviser

High level statements on the Rome Statute at 20

Concept note

Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Rome Statute

Launch Forum, 15-16 February 2018

In this anniversary year, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (Coalition) is dedicated to honoring the groundbreaking achievement that was the adoption of the Rome Statute and the subsequent establishment of the only permanent international court mandated to end impunity for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression.

The Coalition is committed to doing all we can to commemorate, celebrate, and honor the government and international organization leaders, and Coalition members who have helped achieve this historic victory for international peace and security since 1995.

The launch of the Coalition's commemoration will took place on 15-16 February 2018 in The Hague, the Netherlands. Throughout the year, while celebrating this historic advance in peace, justice, and international law, the Coalition will also take stock of the treaty and the international justice system it created - from its progressive provisions to unexpected lacunae; from its idealistic vision to an increasingly challenging political reality.

Crucial to this process of reflection is consideration of the ongoing challenges faced by the Rome Statute system, and how the future of effective, independent, and fair international justice can be assured. At the launch event in February, we will consider key questions about the history, the evolution, and the future of the treaty, the Court, and international justice:

  • Was the international community ready for the Statute and the Court?
  • What assessments can be made about the treaty, the Court, and the actions of the states that created the system?
  • What are the main challenges confronting the Court, its Assembly of States Parties, the international community, and civil society in ensuring strong international humanitarian law enforcement and an end to impunity?
  • How do we envision the future of the Rome Statute, the ICC, and international justice during the next 20 years?
  • Do extremism, xenophobia, nativism and rising attacks against multilateralism represent temporary or existential threats to the ICC?

 

We are very pleased that many current and former leaders of the Court and of the Rome treaty process joined this assessment in The Hague and throughout the year.

The launch event featured contributions from many of the actors and leaders of the Rome Statute process and over the past 20 years: government delegates; leaders from the United Nations and other regional and international organizations, including the European Union; leaders, Judges, and staff of the ICC, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia/Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, among others; representatives of The Hague diplomatic community; and members of civil society and the Coalition from around the world.

Our goal through these launch forums is to spur a genuine interactive dialogue on these important issues. Each session will be framed by 1-2 contributors, followed by a discussion enabling all who are willing to contribute, with a kind request to limit interventions to 1-3 minutes.

We are confident that these contributions and the discussions at the Coalition's forums, weaved into a narrative tapestry, could augment other anniversary events and actions in support of the Rome Statute system.

We look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure a future for international justice worthy of the ideals and principles that led to Rome. 

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