Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you all for being here today – together we want to signal our attention and support for International Criminal Justice and for the victims of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
July 17th is a symbolic date, it was solemnly proclaimed, by the States Parties to the ICC Statute at the Kampala Review Conference in Uganda in 2010, as the Day of International Criminal Justice.
July 17th is the day the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was adopted and opened for signature in Rome in 1998 at the close of the UN Diplomatic Conference.
Marking the Day of International Criminal Justice intends to echo those moments and to highlight the pressing issues relating to international justice that are behind the very establishment of the Court and the adoption of the Rome Statute. Against this background since 2011 Italian Ministers Foreign Affairs have annually send solemn messages on this date [and Minister Mogherini has posted her statement this morning and the text is also available in the room].
The flag of the Court has been flown in Rome at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And this year also here at the Permanent Mission at the United Nations.
The strong connection between the UN and the ICC is highlighted by the history of the two institutions and by the profoundly shared values. Moreover, the Relationship Agreement approved by the UN General Assembly in 2004, which sets out the framework for a continued and sustained cooperation, reflects and confirms this bond. And the two Security Council referrals – the most recent through resolution 1970 (2011) on Libya – are further confirmation.
Clearly, the UN and the ICC must work together in their endeavour to pursue Peace and Justice.
The two institutions, as we hope the discussion today will further highlight, do share the same universal values and there are several levels of cooperation.
In order to shed more light on the multifaceted aspects of this relationship – we have asked three key institutional figures, very familiar to all of you and who need no introduction, to be with us: the President of the Court, Judge Song, the President of the Assembly of the States Parties to the Rome Statute, Amb. Tiina Intelmann and the Under Secretary General for Legal Affairs, Miguel de Serpa Soares.
I would like to thank them for being here with us today to discuss the multiple intersections between the work of the ICC and the work of the UN with a view to strengthen their relationship, and further promote the universality of the ICC system.
This is an occasion to renew our commitment against mass atrocities. We owe it to the many victims of these crimes everywhere in the world.