On 25 September 2012, the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute (“the Assembly), Ambassador Tiina Intelmann (Estonia) welcomed the deposit of the instrument of ratification of the amendments to the Rome Statute on the crime of aggression by the Prime Minister of Samoa. Samoa became the second State Party to ratify the amendments that were adopted in a historic consensus at the 2010 Review Conference of the International Criminal Court (“the Court”) in Kampala. Samoa also ratified the amendments pertaining to article 8 of the Statute, adopted at the same conference.
Speaking at the United Nations treaty event, Ambassador Intelmann stated “it was my pleasure to congratulate the Honourable Mr. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Samoa, on having become the second State Party to ratify the amendments on the crime of aggression. The importance of these amendments cannot be overstated. Not only do they close the final lacuna left in the Rome Statute, they also fulfil a longstanding wish of the international community to empower a permanent Court to hold individuals criminally accountable for the commission of the crime of aggression. States Parties are deeply grateful for Samoa’s continued dedication to the Rome Statute and its steadfast support for the International Criminal Court.”
Samoa became one of the first States to sign the Rome Statute in 1998, ratifying in September 2002. Samoa took a leading role in the negotiations in Rome and the subsequent negotiations leading to the adoption of the amendments on the Crime of Aggression. Samoan national Tuiloma Neroni Slade was a judge at the Court from 2003 to 2006. Samoa has also been an active participant in the work of the Assembly of States Parties, serving on the Bureau continuously since 2005.
The crime of aggression had been included in the Rome Statute in 1998 while its definition and implementation were deferred to a Review Conference. The amendments adopted in 2010 define the crime of aggression and provide for the conditions for the exercise of jurisdiction over this crime.
The Court may exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression once thirty States have ratified the amendments, and subject to a decision to be taken after 1 January 2017 by the States Parties.
For further information on the Assembly of States Parties, please e-mail to [email protected].