ICC hosts welcome ceremony honouring Guatemala as a new State Party

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) held a ceremony on 13 July 2012 at the seat of the Court in The Hague to welcome the Republic of Guatemala as the 121st State Party to the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty.

During the ceremony, the ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, presented the Ambassador of Guatemala, H.E. Mr Julio Roberto Palomo Silva, with a special edition of the Rome Statute, as a symbol of their joint commitment to the rule of law.

President Song noted that the Republic of Guatemala has been supportive of the ICC for many years and stated that he was “impressed by the speed with which Guatemala has acceded to the Rome Statute since the Presidential elections of November last year”. The ICC President added that: “Guatemala’s accession has great regional importance since it brings Central American participation in the Rome Statute system to an almost complete representation, with only two states not yet party to the Rome Statute; El Salvador and Nicaragua. I sincerely hope that Guatemala’s accession will send an encouraging signal to these states to also join us”.

Minister-Counsellor Philippe Brandt of the Swiss Embassy, representing the Vice-President of the Assembly of States Parties, stated that the accessions of countries that have overcome the challenges posed by past conflicts are “particularly encouraging”. “Joining the Rome Statute system constitutes a tangible demonstration of the commitment by the Government and the people of Guatemala to ensure that impunity for the commission of the most serious crimes will not prevail in the future”, he noted. “The rule of law is strengthened by this historic step, which would hopefully be emulated in the region and around the globe”, Mr Brandt added.

Ambassador Julio Roberto Palomo Silva expressed Guatemala’s “pride and joy for finally being able to become a full member state”, in order to join the Court in its “work to fight these crimes and contribute to the expansion and universalisation of justice”.

The ceremony was held in the presence of the First Vice-President of the Court, Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, the Prosecutor Ms Fatou Bensouda, the Registrar Ms Silvana Arbia, and the Deputy Registrar Mr Didier Preira.

Speech of the President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song

Speech of Mr Philippe Brandt, representing the Assembly of States Parties

Speech of the Ambassador of Guatemala, H.E. Mr Julio Roberto Palomo Silva

Photos of the event

Video summary

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].

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