Commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute

Press Release
Publishing Date

Image of 25th Anniversary conferenceThe Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court ("the Assembly") commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute on 17 July 2023 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The commemoration was attended by States Parties, Observer States, international and regional organizations as well as non-governmental organizations.

The commemoration was chaired by the President of the Assembly, H.E. Ms. Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi. The opening ceremony remarks were delivered by Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel (on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations), Ms. Maria Tripodi, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Italy), Judge Piotr Hofmański, President of the International Criminal Court, H.E. Mr. Lloyd Axworthy, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Mr. William R. Pace, former Convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and Ms. Minou Tavárez Mirabal, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims.

During the high-level Ministerial Roundtable entitled “Strategic vision for the next decade: How to ensure consistent and sustainable support for the ICC” numerous Ministers and Vice-Ministers expressed their ongoing support for the Court and its mandate. The closing remarks of the Roundtable were delivered by the Prosecutor of International Criminal Court, Mr. Karim A. A. Khan KC, who highlighted “The Court stands as a powerful emblem of our shared determination to eradicate impunity and preserve the principles of justice. However, as we mark this anniversary, we must also recognise the need for adaptation and growth in order to increase our effectiveness amidst a rapidly transforming global landscape. The multiplication of crises globally demands we are innovative and focused in our response. As Prosecutor, I am seeking to deliver a revitalised strategy, reinvigorating my Office's efforts, and ensuring that our work is felt by those most in need on the frontlines.”

During the cooperation agreements segment of the event, France and Belgium concluded voluntary agreements with the Court on the enforcement of sentences and final release respectively.

The afternoon session had three panels. The first panel entitled “Connecting the dots: Strengthening the international criminal law ecosystem”, discussed the Court’s essential role in strengthening the rule of law and its positioning amongst existing accountability mechanism.

The second panel focused on ensuring adequate remedy to victims of Rome Statute Crimes and described how victims’ rights are realised in the Court and how the system has matured on reparations.

During the last panel entitled “Strengthening the Rome Statute system: The Review Mechanism and beyond”, the discussions centred on the impact of the recommendations of the Independent Expert Review, the work of the Review Mechanism in coordinating and guiding States Parties’, the Court’s and Civil Society’s interactions in the assessment and implementation of the recommendations, and how to continue oversight on the progress of the recommendations.

At the close of the commemoration, the President of the Assembly, Ms. Fernández de Gurmendi welcomed the unwavering support for the Court as well as the constructive dialogue and exchanges on various issues. She encouraged all stakeholders to work together to allow the Court continue to fulfil its mandate as an independent and impartial judicial institution, reiterating strong commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute in the face of its many current and future challenges. President Fernández de Gurmendi concluded with the following words: "Like 25 years ago, the vision expressed today reflects the need to continue working to achieve a “court worth having”, that is a universal and inclusive Court that delivers high quality justice, ensures the centrality of victims and contributes to consolidate a global system of justice together with other international and national justice efforts.

The event was organized with the financial support of the European Commission, the Permanent Missions of Canada, Italy and Liechtenstein to the United Nations, as well as the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights.

Further information about the commemoration can be found at the website of the Assembly.

For additional information please contact Ms. Lismercy Novas Alba, via email addressed to [email protected].

Related materials:
Photographs of the event
25th anniversary video: English; French; Spanish; Dutch
More Just World campaign webpage
ICC online exhibition "Common bonds": English; French; Spanish; Dutch

Assembly of States Parties