In a symbolic ceremony held today, at the seat of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Czech Republic was welcomed as the newest State Party member to the Rome Statute. The Czech Republic deposited its instrument of ratification to the Rome Statute on 21 July, and the Statute entered into force today, 1 October, 2009, bringing the total number of States Parties to the Rome Statute to 110.
ICC President, Judge Sang–Hyun Song congratulated the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, H.E. Petr Mareš whilst presenting him with a special edition of the Rome Statue. He praised the ratification and hailed the addition of the Czech Republic as a representational “milestone towards the ultimate goal of global ratification” particularly now that “all 27 Member States of the European Union are also States Parties to the Rome Statute.”
“The Court will continue to do what it can to engage with states considering ratification or accession. This is an area where states, multilateral organisations and NGOs have also made critical contributions. As the Court works with its States Parties in this and other areas of common concern, I am most grateful to have a new partner”, President Song added.
Ambassador Mareš expressed his particular gratitude towards the former President of the ICC, Philipp Kirsch who attended the ceremony, and the Prosecutor, Mr Moreno-Ocampo. Ambassador Mareš emphasized their ‘’personal, valuable support’’ to the process of the ratification of the Rome Statute in the Czech Republic.
“The Czech Republic hopes that its ratification will serve as a stimulus for other countries to consider accession to the International Criminal Court. On this occasion, the Czech Republic calls on States to support the International Criminal Court and to comply with the international obligations, which derive from their membership. The States' co-operation with the Court is the principal key element for the effective promotion of justice, which is our common goal”, Ambassador Mareš added.
The ceremony took place in the presence of the Vice-President of the Assembly of States Parties and Ambassador of Mexico, H.E. Mr Jorge Lomónaco. He remarked on the significant accomplishment of this ratification: “The Czech Republic is the 17th State from Eastern Europe that has ratified the Rome Statute, setting an example for other States in the region that have yet to join the International Criminal Court, and calling them to follow its steps in order to have a united regional voice that speaks against impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes”.
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