Today, 7 July 2011, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) held an event and symbolic flag-raising ceremony, calling other parties to join in celebrations of 17 July, International Criminal Justice Day.
The event began with a viewing of a commemorative reading of the Preamble of the Rome Statute, and officially opened with a speech by the Vice-President of the Assembly of States Parties and Ambassador of Mexico, H.E. Mr Jorge Lomónaco. Noting that 2011 was the first occasion for marking this momentous occasion, he encouraged awareness raising and broad participation in this initiative. He also stated, “The Day of International Criminal Justice is a perfect occasion to celebrate the growing ICC family and to demonstrate that the commitment to the fight against impunity is stronger than ever”.
The ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, spoke of the spirit of solidarity of the 17 July celebrations. “We must be united in our resolve to defeat impunity and the lawlessness, brutality and disdain for human dignity that it represents”, he stated. “We must persevere”.
Guests then enjoyed the first viewing of commemorative videos, including an introduction to the ICC and International Criminal Justice Day spots, which will be aired globally by States Parties on 17 July.
At the heart of the event was a symbolic flag-raising ceremony, during which the ICC flag and an International Criminal Justice Day banner were raised. Similar banners will be displayed throughout the city of The Hague in the days leading up to 17 July; States Parties will also raise the ICC flag in honour of the occasion. The raising of the flag and banner is a call for joint celebration and action in support of international justice.
17 July is the Day of International Criminal Justice. Events commemorating 17 July are aimed at raising awareness and generating support for global justice and the fight against impunity. The ICC is coordinating with national judiciaries, international tribunals, NGOs and other partners to commemorate this day, and invites all those who wish to support justice, promote victims’ rights, and help prevent crimes that threaten the peace, security and well-being of the world.
The day is a celebration of the landmark steps that the international community is taking to reach to common goal of global justice, and an opportunity for those who support justice around the world to make their voices heard.
The date of 17 July was adopted by the Assembly of the States Parties during the Review Conference of the Rome Statute held in Kampala (Uganda) last year in June and marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC.
Speech by the Vice-President of the Assembly of States Parties and Ambassador of Mexico, H.E. Mr Jorge Lomónaco
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