ICC - ICC hosts welcome ceremony honouring Tunisia as a new State Party

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President Sang-Hyun Song, in the presence of Ambassador Jorge Lomónaco, presents H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Karim Ben Becher with a special edition of the Rome Statute © ICC-CPI


The International Criminal Court (ICC) held a ceremony on 16 September 2011 at the seat of the Court in The Hague to welcome Tunisia as the 116th State Party to the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty.

During the ceremony, ICC President Sang-Hyun Song presented the Ambassador of Tunisia, H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Karim Ben Becher, with a special edition of the Rome Statute, as a symbol of their joint commitment to the rule of law.

ICC President Song remarked, “Today, you have joined a community of States which have not only ‘promised’ support and cooperation, but have also created a permanent court of judges who will always be thereto help people bring to justice those who commit serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole”.

Upon welcoming Tunisia as a State Party, President Song stated, “This Court is now yours”.

Commending Tunisia’s decision at this time of fundamental change in the region, the Vice-President of the Assembly of States Parties and Ambassador of Mexico, H.E. Mr Jorge Lomónaco, stated: “With its decision to accede to the Rome Statute as well as to other international human rights instruments, Tunisia sends a strong and unequivocal message to the international community that it is embracing its shifting times and that it wishes to commit to human rights and the rule of law. Tunisia has demonstrated its unflinching commitment to enter into a new era where society is guided by clear rules as well as by the principle of equality before the law”.

Referring to the revolution of 14 January 2011 as well as Tunisia’s upcoming elections in October, H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Karim Ben Becher expressed Tunisia’s “commitment to supporting the efforts of the court in order to put an end to impunity, promote accountability, broaden its scope of action and enshrine its universal character”.

As an example of this support, the Ambassador referred to the upcoming regional seminar of the ICC’s Rome Statute system, to be hosted in Tunisia from 19 to 23 September, under the patronage of His Excellency the President of the Republic. The seminar will provide interactive training on the Rome Statute to over 50 leading law professionals from across the Maghreb region and the Middle East, with a view to enhancing States’ cooperation with the Court.

The ceremony was held in the presence of the Second Vice-President of the Court, Judge Hans-Peter Kaul, Judge Erkki Kourula, Judge Anita Ušacka, Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova, the Registrar, Ms Silvana Arbia, and the Director of JCCD in the Office of the Prosecutor, Phakiso Mochochoko.

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

Speech of the Vice-President of the Assembly of States Parties, the Ambassador of Mexico, H.E. Mr Jorge Lomónaco: English, Français, عربي

Speech of the Ambassador of Tunisia, H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Karim Ben Becher: Français

Click here for photos and video footage of the events.

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 by e-mail at: fadi.el-abdallah@icc-cpi.int.

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Assembly of States Parties