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The International Criminal Court receives the 2013 Dag Hammarskjöld Honorary Medal


On Friday, 6 December 2013, the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”) received the Dag Hammarskjöld Honorary Medal by the United Nations Association of Germany (Deutsche Gesellschaft für die Vereinten Nationen) in Frankfurt.  The Prosecutor of the ICC, Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, accepted the award on behalf of the Court.  The award is named after the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, whose primary motivations were “peace, justice, and human rights.”

The 2013 Dag Hammarskjöld Honorary Medal was awarded to the ICC “for its work in the fight against the worst human rights violations with the instruments of the criminal law […] In the spirit of Dag Hammarskjöld, the ICC is a symbol of the respect for people as individuals deserving of protection.  Through the initiation of the Rome Statute, the strong signal was sent that the international community is no longer willing to stand idly by as those responsible for grave human rights violations go unpunished.” 

The United Nations Association of Germany honoured the ICC with the award in order to also encourage the international community and ICC States Parties to strengthen their support for the Court and pursue the path set out by the Rome Statute.  The award equally acknowledges the dedication of ICC staff and all those “from all over the world who passionately and fearlessly support” its work through their tireless efforts.

In addition to the ICC, the 2013 Dag Hammarskjöld Honorary Medal was presented to Mr. Benjamin B. Ferencz who was honoured for his lifelong dedication to the fight against impunity for mass atrocities and replacing the “rule of force with the rule of law.”  Previous award recipients include Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan and Prof. Dr.Egon Schwelb (1979); Henry R. Labouisse and Rüdiger von Wechmar (1981); Lakhdar Brahimi and the youth group “Aktion Völkerrecht” (2004); Brian Urquhart (1988); Gro Harlem Brundtland (1991), and Kofi Annan (2009).

Prosecutor Bensouda accepted the award “on behalf of all colleagues at the ICC,” stating in her remarks at the awards ceremony that: “[r]eceiving the Dag Hammarskjöld Honorary Medal today serves as a reminder of how far we have come as an international community, and also of the work that still needs to be done to achieve the full acceptance and implementation of the Rome Statute to bring justice to those who need it most […] While only in its second decade of existence, the work of the ICC is already showing signs of changing the strategic calculus of would-be perpetrators and having a constructive impact on conflicts.” While recognising the challenges faced by the Court, she invited the audience to ponder: “what would the impunity gap and our world look like today without the ICC?”


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: fadi.el-abdallah@icc-cpi.int.
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