Press Release: 24 October 2018

20 years of the Rome Statute: ICC holds High-Level Seminar on Cooperation in Eastern Europe

ICC officials, High-level representatives of Eastern European states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine; dignitaries representing WEOG: Austria, France, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, the Republic of Turkey, and the UK, as well as representatives of the European Union, the United Nations, UNDP, ICRC, OSCE, and the Council of Europe at the High-Level Seminar on Cooperation in Tbilisi on 24 October 2018 ©ICC-CPI

On 24-25 October 2018, the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or the "Court") in collaboration with the Government of Georgia and financial support from the European Commission, is holding a high-level regional seminar in Tbilisi, Georgia to foster regional cooperation in Eastern Europe.

The event, titled "Opportunities for Cooperation and Exchange of Experience at 20 Years of the Rome Statute" gathers high-level representatives of 16 countries, the ICC and regional and intergovernmental organisations to promote and enhance cooperation in the region, take stock of the 20 years since the adoption of the Rome Statute, and reinforce the framework of justice and accountability created by the Statute.   

"The strengthening of national capacities to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes is essential for the proper functioning of the principle of complementarity," said ICC Vice-President Judge Robert Fremr at the opening of the Seminar. "At the same time, improved judicial systems and rule of law at the national level will also make it easier for States to provide cooperation to the ICC," he added.  

"Cooperation between the Court and States is mutually beneficial," ICC Registrar Peter Lewis emphasised. "While cooperation by States undoubtedly assists the Court to discharge its mandate, cooperation also offers opportunities to the States involved through the transfer of knowledge and expertise."

"An effective and comprehensive cooperation and assistance by States in all aspects of the ICC mandate based on complementarity remains an indispensable element for the Court," stated H.E. Ms Tea Tsulukiani, Minister of Justice of Georgia at the event. "For example, we are currently finalizing the work on enforcement of sentences agreement to place ICC sentenced persons in the Georgian prisons," she added.

Judge Robert Fremr, ICC Vice-President; Mr Peter Lewis, ICC Registrar; Ms Alma Taso-Deljkovic, Board Member of the Trust Fund for Victims, and Mr Phakiso Mochochoko, Director of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor will be meeting with various officials in the margins of the seminar, including the Georgian Minister of Justice, the Georgian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Justice of Latvia. In addition, during his visit to Georgia, the Registrar will meet with legal communities and civil society, to deepen the ongoing dialogue and cooperation with the Court.

This seminar forms part of broader efforts to further advance universality of the Rome Statute and cooperation with the Court. Experience from similar events organised in Africa, Asia (Asia-Pacific and West Asia), Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean have demonstrated that such regional seminars provide a vital forum for high-level discussions to enhance global support for the Court.   

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]

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