International Criminal Court (ICC) hosts launch of civil society forum to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute

On 15 February 2018, the International Criminal Court (ICC) (www.ICC-CPI.int) hosted the launch of the Coalition for the ICC‘s (www.CoalitionForTheICC.org) commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute (https://goo.gl/TkmP61) – the Court’s founding treaty– with an Open Forum at the seat of the Court in The Hague, The Netherlands. More than 280 persons attended the event, including protagonists of the Rome Statute’s adoption, ICC officials, representatives of states, regional and international organizations, and civil society.

“It is a great pleasure for me to receive at the ICC so many of those very same people who worked so hard to make this Court possible, said the President of the International Criminal Court, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, calling the adoption of the Rome Statute “one of the biggest achievements of recent decades to advance the rule of law, a ‘revolution’ according to some.”

“This event recognises the role of the variety of stakeholders involved in the adoption of the Rome Statute – states, regional and international organisations, and civil society, and aims to spur a global dialogue on advancing justice for atrocities,” said the Convenor of the Coalition for the ICC, William R. Pace. “We call on all actors in the international system, organizations and individuals to organize 20th anniversary events throughout 2018 to raise awareness of this historic treaty and organization and commit to taking strides towards universal ratification and cooperation with ICC decisions, such as arresting wanted persons. Let us eliminate war and impunity for mass violence and repression.”

The ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, thanked the Coalition for the ICC and its membership from across the globe for their invaluable contribution to the cause of international justice, the establishment of the Court and marking this milestone achievement. “The creation of the International Criminal Court must surely be one of humanity’s proudest moments,” said ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. “Cooperation efforts need to amplify in order to secure long-term gains for justice.”

Recalling that victims participation and reparations are unique and cornerstone features of the Rome Statute system, Registrar Herman von Hebel stated that the “success of the Court will depend not only on its judgements and sentences for individuals who have committed the gravest crimes of concern to the international community as whole. Rather, the success of the Court will also – if not even to a greater extent – depend on giving the victims voice and adequate reparation and assistance in re-building their lives.”

“Twenty years since the Rome Conference, the ICC is now an integral part of the international system. Its work contributes to the rule of law, the promotion of human rights and to a more peaceful and secure world,” said the President of the Assembly of States Parties O-Gon Kwon. “At this important juncture in its history, the Court needs our support more than ever […] In the end, the Rome Statute system can only be as effective and efficient as we, States Parties, together with the Court, and other stakeholders, make it through our actions and cooperation. ”

Interventions included the Coalition’s Convenor, the ICC President, Prosecutor and Registrar, the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, the UN Secretary-General and UN Human Rights Chief, and the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, among other high level officials and participants of the 1998 Rome Conference.

The Open Forum continued today, 16 February, at the Peace Palace in The Hague and commemorations will take place throughout the year worldwide, including around 17 July 2018, the Day of International Criminal Justice, and the Rome Statute’s official anniversary. It is hoped that the 20th anniversary will be a time for renewed commitment to the Rome Statute, the ICC, and the unprecedented system of international criminal justice created by the treaty.

Full video of the event (https://goo.gl/gVM9bj)

Photographs of the event (https://goo.gl/Ckqm5D)

ICC President Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi’s remarks at the Coalition for the ICC Open Forum (https://goo.gl/QH14iT)

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s remarks at the Coalition for the ICC (https://goo.gl/rQ4KyD)

Open Forum (https://goo.gl/xQyUT2)

ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel’s remarks at the Coalition for the ICC Open Forum (https://goo.gl/5hmLg4)

ASP President O-Gon Kwon’s remarks at the Coalition for the ICC Open Forum (https://goo.gl/1LXGWK)

Trust Fund For Victims Director Motoo Noguchi’s remarks at the Coalition for the ICC Open Forum (https://goo.gl/P5Y66w)

UN Secretary General António Guterres remarks at the Coalition for the ICC Open Forum (https://goo.gl/nNJ5dg)

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid’s remarks at the Coalition for the ICC Open Forum (https://goo.gl/3vTH3E)

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s remarks at the Coalition for the ICC Open Forum (https://goo.gl/NWqi1A)

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former ICC Judge Navi Pillay’s remarks at the Coalition for the ICC Open Forum (https://goo.gl/YVfoNQ)

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini’s remarks at the Coalition for the ICC Open Forum (https://goo.gl/NAD1fb)

Background: The International Criminal Court (ICC) investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.​ The ICC was created by a treaty adopted in 1998, the Rome Statute, marking a milestone in humankind’s efforts towards a more just world. The Rome Statute took effect in 2002, upon ratification by 60 States. Today, the Rome Statute is supported by 123 countries. The Statute has set up the highest legal standards, the equality of arms, the impartiality of the judicial process, and created a basis for the model of civil administration in the service of fair and equitable justice.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Criminal Court (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.

You can also follow the Court’s activities on Twitter (https://goo.gl/44bh4B), Facebook (https://goo.gl/qC3ECJ), Tumblr (https://goo.gl/2BEjzS), YouTube (https://goo.gl/18v1XN) and Flickr (https://goo.gl/bEVdzR).

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World Council of Churches encourages participation in day of prayer for South Sudan, DRC

The World Council of Churches (WCC) will participate in a day of prayer and fasting for South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo on 23 February. Pope Francis called for the day in response to the ongoing social-political tension and violence in the two nations.

In the DRC, 4.3 million people are displaced and 13.1 million people will be in need of humanitarian assistance this year.

In South Sudan, during the past four years of conflict, 2 million people have fled the young nation as refugees and about 1.9 million people are internally displaced. An additional 7 million people inside the country – almost two-thirds of the remaining population – need humanitarian assistance.

In a letter encouraging the WCC fellowship to observe the day of fasting and prayer, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said that children, young men, and women have been among the most affected. “Millions of women and girls are exposed to gender-based violence in these crisis-affected areas,” he wrote. “We acknowledge the courageous and hopeful work that carries on each day to serve the people in need.”

In a letter to Tveit, Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said it is the hope of Pope Francis that Christians of all churches, together with those belonging to other religious traditions and all people of good will, may join this initiative in the forms they deem to be appropriate.

“The prayer of all Christians on that day for the gift of peace would be an authentic sign of solidarity and closeness to those suffering in these nations and above all to the many Christians from different churches who live there, and moreover would be a tangible step in the shared witness to the Gospel of peace, of which the world is in such need.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Council of Churches (WCC).

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B-Roll: Coalition for the International Criminal Court commemorates 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute – the founding treaty that established the ICC – Free Broadcast quality B-Roll footage

On 15 February 2018, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (www.CoalitionForTheICC.org) launched its commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute – the founding treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) (www.ICC-CPI.int) – with an event held at the seat of the Court in The Hague, The Netherlands. The Open Forum will continue today 16 February at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

Copyright free broadcast-quality footage, pre-recorded interviews and shot list are available for media to download here: https://we.tl/U3X3QqMIef (.mov ; 3 Go)

The B-roll includes interviews with the President of the ICC, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the ICC, O-Gon Kwon, the Executive Director of Africa Legal Aid, Evelyn A. Ankumah, and more.

This material is offered for free and unrestricted news use.

More than 280 persons attended the opening forum, including protagonists of the Rome Statute’s adoption, ICC officials, representatives of states, regional and international organizations, and civil society.

The Prosecutor is investigating 11 situations and analysing 10 preliminary examinations. 25 cases for 42 defendants have been opened. 9 convictions and 1 acquittal were pronounced. 13,808 victims are participating in ICC proceedings. The Trust Fund for Victims has also helped 455 thousand persons in rebuilding their lives.

The Open Forum will continue on 16 February at the Peace Palace in The Hague and commemorations will take place throughout the year worldwide to culminate on 17 July 2018, the Day of International Criminal Justice, and the Rome Statute’s official anniversary.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of APO Group – Video Production.

Media contact:
Marie@APO-opa.org

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Source:: B-Roll: Coalition for the International Criminal Court commemorates 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute – the founding treaty that established the ICC – Free Broadcast quality B-Roll footage

      

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Cameroon: Ambassador Barlerin Pays a Visit to Refugees in the East Region

U.S. Ambassador Peter H. Barlerin traveled to the East region February 6-8. During his trip, he met with regional authorities and visited the Gado-Gadzere camp, which hosts approximately 25,000 Central African refugees. The ambassador also met with United States Peace Corps volunteers and visited two elementary schools for refugee children. In all of his meetings, the ambassador underscored the importance of peaceful coexistence between refugees and the communities that host them. He also highlighted the need for sustained donor funding to address the lifesaving and long-term needs of vulnerable populations in the region.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Cameroon.

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