THE HAGUE, June 24, 2014 –The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mrs Fatou Bensouda and World Bank Vice-President for Integrity, Mr Leonard McCarthy today reaffirmed their commitment to collaborate with one another on matters of mutual interest. Bensouda and McCarthy signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which enhances exchange of information and cooperation between their respective offices.
“I very much welcome this important agreement,” noted Prosecutor Bensouda. “All eight of the Court’s ongoing investigations and a number of our preliminary investigations are being carried out in situations which are of critical importance to development organizations like the World Bank. Accountability and the rule of law are the conditio sine qua non to stability, development and prosperity."
The primary mission of the Office of the Prosecutor and that of the International Criminal Court as a whole is to help put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community and thus to contribute to the prevention of such crimes. These crimes include genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Integrity Vice-Presidency (INT) is an independent unit within the World Bank Group that has the unique function of investigating and pursuing sanctions related to allegations of fraud and corruption in World Bank Group-financed projects.
“Institutions with a global mandate like the ICC or the World Bank need to strengthen their ties and intensify their work for the common good. The link between security, corruption, and development is undeniable; we see it in our investigations and our preventive work which is part of our development response to reducing corruption risks in our projects. Unless the world can focus on these issues, we will make it too easy for those on the wrong side of history to wield influence,” added Mr McCarthy.
The MoU signed today builds upon a 2009 agreement in which the two offices laid the groundwork for information sharing and helped identify common areas to pursue.
The INT has 42 similar cooperation agreements with other development organizations and anti-corruption authorities, including the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and authorities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Norway. Information shared with the City of London Police recently resulted in significant cases relating to foreign bribery.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court conducts independent and impartial investigations and prosecution of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Office of the Prosecutor is currently conducting eight investigations in Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Darfur Sudan, Central African Republic, Kenya, Libya, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali. The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations analysing alleged crimes committed on the territories of Honduras, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Union of the Comoros, Ukraine and Iraq and assessing if there are genuine national proceedings being carried out in Georgia, Guinea, Colombia and Nigeria.
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