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ICC - Agreement Between the International Criminal Court and the United Nations


Press Release

Agreement Between the International Criminal Court and the United Nations


At the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Judge Philippe Kirsch, President of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), signed today an agreement that provides a framework for the relationship between both institutions. The Agreement entered into force upon signature. 
Following the signing of the document, Mr. Kirsch and Mr. Annan discussed cooperation issues between the two organisations.

The Agreement               

The Agreement recognizes the role and mandates of both institutions and defines the terms on which the United Nations and the Court will be brought into relationship and will cooperate closely on matters of mutual interest. 

The institutional relations between the Court and the UN are defined in the Agreement. It includes the exchange of representatives, the participation of the Court in the General Assembly of the UN in the capacity of observer; administrative cooperation, the provision of conference services on a reimbursable basis and the use of the UN laissez-passer as a valid travel document by some ICC officials.

With regard to the judicial assistance, the UN undertakes to cooperate if the Court requests the testimony of an official of the United Nations or one of its programmes, funds or offices. In addition, the Agreement defines the mechanisms of cooperation between the Security Council of the United Nations and the Court concerning a referral by the Council of a situation in which one or more crimes under the jurisdiction of the Court appears to have been committed. Article 18 of the Agreement defines the terms of cooperation between the United Nations and the Prosecutor with respect to investigations, exchange of information, conditions of confidentiality of information, protection of persons and security of any operation or activity of the UN. It further addresses issues of privileges and immunities and protection of confidentiality.

The International Criminal Court is an independent permanent judicial institution dealing with the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. It was established by a multilateral treaty, the Rome Statute, to promote the rule of law and ensure that the gravest international crimes do not go unpunished. Based in The Hague, The Netherlands, the ICC complements national courts so that they retain jurisdiction to try genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. As of 4 October 2004, 97 States are party to the Rome Statute.

- Ellen McGuffie, Department of Public Information, United Nations Headquarters, +1 212 963-0499
- Claudia Perdomo, International Criminal Court, +31 625221177

To read the Agreement, please click on: Part I, Part II