In New York on 17 July 2014, the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations hosted an event to commemorate the Day of International Criminal Justice, titled "The United Nations and the International Criminal Court: Partners of Shared Values." The President of the Assembly of States Parties, Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, and the President of the Court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, participated in the panel discussion.
The Day of International Criminal Justice marks the day that the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court, was adopted in 1998. The event, which was attended by numerous delegates from States Parties and States not parties to the Rome Statute alike, also marked the 10th anniversary of the Relationship Agreement between the International Criminal Court and the United Nations.
In his introductory remarks, the host of the event, H.E. Mr. Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, called for a renewal of the commitment by the United Nations and its members against mass atrocities, because "we owe it to the many victims of these crimes everywhere in the world".
H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, called once again for universal ratification of the Rome Statute and highlighted that the Relationship Agreement between the United Nations and the Court is founded on the shared belief that the cause of peace can only be served if those responsible for the most serious crimes of international concern are prosecuted and brought to justice. He also noted that the United Nations is "proud to remain deeply involved in assisting Member States to better address impunity at the national level."
President Song thanked the United Nations for the support it gives to the Court in the field. He emphasized that the partnership between the United Nations and the International Criminal Court is indispensable for the protection of the interests of humanity as a whole, stating that "just like peace and justice go hand in hand, so must the UN and the ICC." He also noted that the Relationship Agreement provides that the United Nations and the Court "shall cooperate closely whenever appropriate", making coordination and cooperation "not merely an option, but in fact a requirement."
Ambassador Intelmann focused her remarks on the ways that United Nations members, States Parties to the Rome Statute and the United Nations can further support the pursuit of international criminal justice and the work of the Court. In particular, President Intelmann noted the important relationship between the Court and the Security Council, as the Council can create jurisdiction for the Court over crimes committed in States not parties, and stressed the importance of continued political support to the Court – now, and in the years to come. She highlighted the United Nations Secretary-General's "Guidance on contacts with persons who are the subject of arrest warrants or summonses issued by the International Criminal Court", which limit the contact of United Nations officials with persons who are the subject of International Criminal Court arrest warrants to those which are "strictly required for carrying out essential United Nations mandated activities".
H.E. Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, discussed the important support that the Office of Legal Affairs, which had been designated by the Secretary-General in 2005 as focal point for matters of cooperation between the United Nations and the Court, provides to the Court. He further emphasized that although "there are those who would reject accountability, for themselves and for those whom they seek to protect", the international community "must be single-minded about ending impunity", including through supporting the Court.
These presentations were followed by statements and questions from States Parties and civil society.
The commemoration was transmitted through UN TV, and was live tweeted as part of the global social media campaign with the theme Justice Matters, which received wide support from high State officials and diplomatic missions.
The Relationship Agreement between the United Nations and the International Criminal Court, adopted in 2004 and negotiated between the United Nations General Assembly and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, sets out the legal framework for the close cooperation between the United Nations and the Court on matters of mutual interest.
UN Secretary-General Guidance on contacts with persons who are the subject of arrest warrants or summonses issued by the International Criminal Court: A/67/828-S/2013/210
Statement of H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
Statement of Judge Sang Hyun Song, President of the International Criminal Court
Statement of H.E. Ms. Tiina Intelmann, President of the Assembly of States Parties - English | Español | Français
Statement of H.E. Mr. Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations
Statement of H.E. Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs