June 22, 2018

ICC President to address the Pacific Islands Forum













ICC President Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi ©ICC-CPI

“In order to ensure sustainable peace and development for all, we must rally support for international cooperation to address global challenges”

The President of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”), Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi is travelling next week to Samoa to participate in the 48th Pacific Islands Forum, where she will address heads of state and government from the 18-member group as well as speak at an ICC workshop organised in the margins. The purpose of the mission is to urge more member states of the Forum to join the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, as well as raise awareness and strengthen collaboration between the ICC and the Pacific region.

“In order to ensure sustainable peace and development for all, we must rally support for international cooperation to address global challenges through the rule of law”, President Fernández stated ahead of her travel to the Pacific Islands Forum.

“The Pacific region is today confronted with some of the most serious challenges on our planet, and small island states in particular are calling for international cooperation to protect the oceans and address climate change. Much like these issues present a threat to entire populations, so do the international crimes that the ICC was created to prosecute and help prevent: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Several Pacific states have long been strong supporters of the ICC, and I would like to see more countries in the region add their backing to the Court in the spirit of international solidarity for the well-being of people everywhere”, she said.

Among the member states of the Pacific Islands Forum, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Samoa and Vanuatu are States Parties to the Rome Statute, whereas Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu are yet to join the treaty.

In her remarks at the Pacific Islands Forum, President Fernández will draw a connection to the theme of the general debate of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet”. The general debate starts on 19 September, and discussions at the 72nd session of the UNGA are expected to touch upon, among other things, conflict prevention, Sustainable Development Goals and climate, as well as human rights and equality.

The ICC President will be joined by Tuiloma Neroni Slade, former ICC Judge and former Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, to speak at the ICC workshop in the margins of the Forum meeting in Samoa. The workshop will provide an open platform for exchange on the region’s experiences within the ICC system, and allow for interactive and frank discussions on the benefits of joining the Rome Statute as well as the various avenues and partners that are available to support States interested in joining the treaty. The workshop is organised with the financial support of the European Commission.

On the way to the Forum, President Fernández will give a public lecture at the University of Auckland.

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