ICC Prosecutor briefs annual ministerial meeting, at the UN General Assembly High-Level Week, expresses gratitude for strong show of support
On 23 September, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or the "Court"), Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, addressed the annual ministerial meeting of the Informal Ministerial Network for the ICC ("IMN") in the margins of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly ("UNGA").
The event hosted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Culture of the Principality of Liechtenstein, H.E. Dr. Katrin Eggenberger, and Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations in New York, was organised in virtual format this year in light of the global pandemic. The IMN is a network of over 30 Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and other high officials, representing regional groupings of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC. The annual meeting of the IMN provides an important platform for high level engagement for the Prosecutor and the Court during the United Nations High-Level week.
In thanking IMN members, as well as the representative of the European Union present, for their continued, clear and unyielding support for her Office and the ICC, the Prosecutor recalled that "the integrity of the Rome Statute system of international criminal justice cannot be allowed to be undermined under duress", emphasizing that "accountability for atrocity crimes, and the ICC as a crucial embodiment of that necessary objective, is an essential pillar of a rules-based multilateral order." She underscored: "along with my Office, we have without fail payed homage to the Rome Statute with utmost integrity and professionalism, led by a sense of unflinching responsibility towards our independent and impartial mandate, solely by the dictates of the Statute. That commitment will continue."
For their part, the members of the IMN renewed their commitment to support the Prosecutor and her Office, and the Court more generally in the fight against impunity. In welcoming the Prosecutor's intervention, the Chair and convener of the IMN, H.E. Minister Eggenberger, stated: "[w]hile we continue making public statements of support for the Court, including in our UN General Debate statements this week, we must also continue to provide practical support to the ICC in its effort to ensure business continuity and to address the challenges it now faces."
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 Burundi; Côte d'Ivoire; Darfur (Sudan); Georgia; Kenya; Libya; Mali; Uganda; the Central African Republic (two distinct situations); the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the People's Republic of Bangladesh/Republic of the Union of Myanmar; and Afghanistan (currently subject to process envisaged under article 18 of the Rome Statute). The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Colombia; Guinea; Iraq/UK; Nigeria, the Philippines; Ukraine and Venezuela; whilst the situation in Palestine is pending a judicial ruling.