At the invitation of the Government of Guatemala, the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, and the Prosecutor of the Court, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, visited Guatemala on 19 and 20 August. The purpose of the visit was to provide further information to various institutions of State and other sectors of Guatemalan society on the activities of the International Criminal Court and the conditions under which the Court exercises jurisdiction, and to answer questions on the benefits accession to the Rome Statute could bring for Guatemala.
The outstanding item of the visit was the meeting with the President of the Republic, Mr. Álvaro Colom Caballeros, who was accompanied by the Vice President, Mr. José Rafael Espada, and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, the Interior, and Education.
As regards the legislative branch, meetings were held with the President of Congress, the Chair of the Legislative and Constitutional Points Committee and with leaders of parliamentary groups. The visitors also held meetings with the President of the Constitutional Court, the President of the Supreme Court, magistrates of the Supreme Court, the interim General Public Prosecutor and Head of the Ministerio Público (Office of the Public Prosecutor), the Ombudsman, and the Director of the Criminal Public Defence Institute. Meetings were also held with representatives of the United Nations system and the Commissioner of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala.
Ambassador Wenaweser and Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo also took part in a conference on the International Criminal Court as an instrument to combat impunity, to which professional associations and academics were invited; and they met with members of the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court.
The visit was part of the Assembly’s Plan of action for achieving universality of the Rome Statute. Currently, 113 States have ratified the Rome Statute, among them 25 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean.
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