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Head of Government of the Republic of Tunisia, H.E. Mr Habib Essid, visits the International Criminal Court


Today, 2 March 2016, H.E. Mr Habib Essid, Head of Government of the Republic of Tunisia, visited the headquarters of the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he met with ICC President Judge Silvia Fernández, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel, as well as other senior officials of the Court.

ICC President Fernández thanked H.E. Mr Essid for Tunisia's continued support for the Court's activities. The President recalled Tunisia's active role at the Assembly of States Parties since its accession to the Rome Statute in 2011 and welcomed Tunisia's commitment to facilitating dialogue between the Court and States Parties.

H.E. Mr Essid said: "Tunisia, since its accession to the Rome Statute, participated actively in the work of the Court and has always worked in favour of dialogue and consensus. These two principles have been implemented at the national level and have also enabled Tunisia to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015. Tunisia, which led its democratic transition process successfully, is more than ever committed to the rule of law and respect of freedoms and human rights".

ICC Prosecutor Bensouda equally expressed her appreciation for Tunisia's support for the activities of her Office, and stressed that: "the Arab world and the wider Middle East have an important role to play in strengthening adherence to the principles of international criminal justice and the rule of law. By ratifying the Rome Statute, Tunisia has demonstrated leadership and has confirmed its firm commitment to the fight against impunity for atrocity crimes under the jurisdiction of the Court. My Office welcomes the opportunity to further strengthen its cooperation with Tunisia".

During the visit, H.E. Mr Essid unveiled a mosaic of "Virgil and the Muses" offered by the Government of the Republic of Tunisia, illustrating Tunisia's historical legal heritage. This initiative reflects Tunisia's firm commitment to the ICC and against impunity for the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, crimes that are within the ICC's jurisdiction and are of concern to the international community. ICC Registrar von Hebel thanked Tunisia's Head of Government and said: "The ICC today occupies an iconic building that serves as a symbol of international criminal justice. Artwork donated by States Parties will become an integral part of the Court's new premises and serve to remind all those who visit the Court of the strong commitment by the international community to the Rome Statute and the work of the ICC".

Photographs of the visit are available here.

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected]

You can also follow the Court's activities on YouTube and Twitter.