Declaration by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton i,
on behalf of the European Union
on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the entry into force
of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Today we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Rome Statute constitutes a promise to victims of the worst atrocities around the world: that they will be assured justice and that accountability will help communities emerge from violence towards peace, from lawlessness towards respect for the rule of law.
Since its foundation, the International Criminal Court has established itself as the principal forum for international criminal justice. Fifteen cases have been brought before the Court, of which six are currently at the trial stage. Earlier this year, the Court issued its first verdict. The number of States Parties to the Rome Statute has continued to increase rapidly over the past decade to 121 States Parties today.
The European Union is encouraging the widest possible participation in the Rome Statute as universal accession is essential to ensure the full effectiveness of the Court. Determined to put an end to the impunity of the perpetrators of the worst crimes, the European Union is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the Rome Statute, to supporting the independence of the Court and its effective and efficient functioning as well as to championing co-operation with the Court. The European Union is also committed to fully implementing the principle of complementarity enshrined in the Rome Statute by facilitating the effective and efficient interplay between national justice systems and the International Criminal Court in the fight against impunity.