In the past week, a number of farewell events were held in honour of the outgoing Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or the "Court"), Mrs Fatou Bensouda, whose nine year mandate at the head of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor ("Office" or "OTP") comes to an end today, on 15 June 2021. She has served the Court since 2004, first as Deputy Prosecutor. Mr Karim Asad Ahmad Khan will be sworn in as Prosecutor of the ICC as of tomorrow, 16 June 2021.
At the different events, the Principals and staff of the Court, State representatives and a range of other distinguished attendees thanked Prosecutor Bensouda for her dedicated service to the ICC for close to two decades. Interventions, through live remarks or video contributions, noted the accomplishments of Prosecutor Bensouda and her lasting legacy, as well as the significant challenges, which have marked her term and which she has overcome with grace, resilience and professional integrity.
inter alia, UN Deputy Secretary-General,
H.E. Ms Amina J. Mohammed; ICC President,
Judge Piotr Hofmański; ICC Registrar, Mr Peter Lewis; ICC Deputy Prosecutor,
Mr James Stewart, President of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP),
Ms Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi; former President of the ASP, Judge O-Gon Kwon; Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands, H.E. Ms Sigrid Kaag; Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Gambia,
H.E. Dr Mamadou Tangara; Minister of Justice (Attorney General) of The Gambia,
The Honourable Mr Dawda A. Jallow; UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs & Legal Counsel,
H.E. Mr Miguel de Serpa Soares; Ambassador of Senegal, H.E. Mr Momar Gueye; Ambassador of The Gambia,
H.E. Ms Teneng Mba Jaiteh; Acting Convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Ms Melinda Reed, and former US Prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials,
Mr Benjamin Ferencz.
"To be effective, to be just and to be a real deterrent, the Office of the Prosecutor's activities and decisions must be based solely on the law and the evidence. During my tenure, I have done my utmost to live by these convictions in the service of the Rome Statute, without fear or favour", stated Prosecutor Bensouda reflecting on her mandate.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. 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, Burundi; Bangladesh/Myanmar, Afghanistan (subject to a pending article 18 deferral request) and Palestine. The Office is also currently conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Bolivia; Guinea; Venezuela I; and Venezuela II; and has completed its preliminary examinations of the situations in Ukraine and Nigeria, which are pending requests to seek authorisation to proceed to investigation, and in the situation in the Philippines, which is pending judicial authorisation.