On Tuesday, 17 April 2018, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or the "Court"), Fatou Bensouda, concluded her participation in the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality.
Organised jointly by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Institute, this international conference convened over 500 participants from governments, international organisations, civil society, private enterprise and academia, to intensify international efforts to achieve gender equality, covering topics such as approaches to justice and participation in the promotion of peace and security.
On 17 April 2018, the Prosecutor took part in a high-level ministerial roundtable hosted by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, H.E. Ms Margot Wallström, on how to promote human security for women and girls around the world. This roundtable discussion also included the participation of H.E. Mr Sven Mikser, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia; H.E. Ms Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of United Nations Population Fund; Ms Sopo Japaridze, Human Rights and Gender Adviser to the Prime Minister of Georgia; Ms Lise Bourgon, Brigadier General of Canada, and Mr Gilles Carbonnier, Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
"In all the situations under investigation before the ICC," said the Prosecutor, "serious crimes are perpetrated against women and girls. My Office devotes special attention to the situation of women and children in conflict, by ensuring that atrocity crimes against them - genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity - are effectively investigated and prosecuted."
Prosecutor Bensouda recalled that the first policy document she issued following her appointment as Prosecutor was the Office's a
Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes. This landmark Policy is guiding her Office's methodological work in investigating and prosecuting sexual and gender-based crimes. "Gender crimes are prominent in our prosecutions because they are regrettably prominent in conflict and situations where we have investigated. These are serious crimes that must be addressed – and we hope, deterred – through the force of the law "stated the Prosecutor.
She also noted that in November 2016, she launched a
Policy on Children, to enable her Office to more robustly address international crimes against and affecting children, and to turn a spotlight on the plight of over 230 million children around the world today who suffer the horrors of war and conflict.
While in Sweden, Prosecutor Bensouda also held productive bilateral meetings with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden H.E. Ms Margot Wallström and other senior officials and heads of agencies. The Prosecutor expressed her appreciation to Minister Wallström for Sweden's steadfast support and commitment to the ICC, and the work of her Office.
The ICC's Office of the Prosecutor conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Since 2003, the Office has been conducting investigations in multiple situations within the ICC's jurisdiction, namely in Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two distinct situations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d'Ivoire; Mali; Georgia and Burundi. Pre-Trial Chamber II is seized of the Prosecutor's request for authorisation to commence an investigation into the situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Colombia; the Gabonese Republic; Guinea; Iraq/UK; Palestine; The Philippines, Nigeria; Venezuela and Ukraine.