“Today, the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”) joins people across the world in marking Human Rights Day, which commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948 and its 70th anniversary this year.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed indisputable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being. It continues to encourage us every day to work relentlessly towards a more just world, to protect human dignity and to promote equality worldwide.
As we commemorate Human Rights Day, let us recall the important role that the ICC plays in this universal system set up to protect human rights effectively.
Founded by the Rome Statute, the ICC is the first permanent court which prosecutes individuals accused of grave crimes that deeply shock the conscience of humanity. Outrages against the dignity of persons, sexual violence, enslavement and other crimes should not remain unpunished. When national tribunals are unwilling or unable to genuinely investigate atrocity crimes, then the ICC can and should step in within the limits of its jurisdiction.
The Court ensures that victims’ voices are heard in a court of justice, and places them at the heart of its proceedings.
But more vocal support is needed for the Court to fulfil its role in protecting the rights of all people and allowing them to build a truly lasting peace.
Today, as we unite for more justice and equality, we call on States worldwide to recommit to the core values enshrined in the Rome Statute and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as to enhance their cooperation with the institutions which defend them. “