From 10 to 13 June 2014, high level officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC or the Court), the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute (ASP) and the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) will participate in the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, in London, United Kingdom. ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song; ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda; ASP President Tiina Intelmann; and Chair of the TFV Board of Directors, Motoo Noguchi will actively take part in this unprecedented Summit aimed at creating momentum against sexual violence in conflict and discussing practical and unified action impacting those on the ground.
The ICC and the TFV have also contributed to the development of the draft International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict, which will be launched at the Summit.
The ICC is at the heart of an emerging comprehensive system of international criminal justice, and plays a crucial role in the global fight against impunity for widespread and systematic sexual and gender-based crimes by investigating and prosecuting individuals found most responsible for perpetrating such crimes. The Rome Statute, the Court’s founding treaty, codifies rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity or constituting a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions as crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Strengthening the investigation and prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes, in order to end impunity of their perpetrators, is a high priority for the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC, which has appointed a Special Gender Adviser and recently developed a comprehensive Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes. This Policy will guide the Office of the Prosecutor in its work relating to sexual and gender-based crimes, and it is hoped that it will also be of assistance to States Parties and other relevant actors in their respective work in this area.
States Parties to the Rome Statute also play a key role in the fight against impunity for sexual and gender-based violence by supporting the work of the ICC and the TFV and by accepting the Court’s scrutiny if their domestic systems are not able to genuinely investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes.
Assistance and reparations programmes as ordered by the ICC Judges and enhanced by the TFV programmes are essential in the delivery of justice to survivors of sexual violence, and as part of a healing process for redressing the wounds and harm caused by unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity.
The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict is co-chaired by UK’s Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The summit is attended by government representatives at the ministerial level, legal, military and judicial practitioners, as well as representatives from multilateral organisations and civil society.
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: [email protected].