By Bonnie Klap.
The Hague Institute of Global Justice was the venue for the Celebration of International Criminal Justice Day. The Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court came into effect in July, 2002 and the ICC opened its doors in The Hague at that time, a significant moment for international justice. A great number of dignitaries were present to celebrate this historic event, among them Her Excellency Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who gave an excellent lecture, highlighting the achievements and challenges of the ICC.
She specifically emphasized the tremendous workload of the ICC and mentioned the 18 cases in 9 situations as an example here of. Fortunately she was also able to give a few examples of ICC’s successes, such as the fact that victims now also have a voice in the process. “We are morally obliged to work toward a more just society and a culture of accountability,” according to High Commissioner Pillay.
His Excellency Judge Sang-Hyun Song, President of the International Criminal Court, Her Excellency Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, President of the Assembly Of States Parties to the International Court and Her Excellency Vesela Mrden Korac, Ambassador of Croatia and Facilitator of the The Hague Working Group on Strategic Planning were also present, as well as many members of the Diplomat Corps and the ICC.
After High Commissioner Pillay’s interesting lecture Dr. Eugenio Matos, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Dominican Republic and a gifted violin player, and composer-pianist Vladan Kulisic treated the audience to a wonderful musical performance, playing music from the movie Schindler’s List and Csárdás, among others. The President of the ICC, His Excellency Judge Song, is a music lover and it was by his special invitation that Dr. Matos performed at this event to promote peace and security. Once again this underscores the fact that the relationship between the fine arts and diplomacy has remained unchanged for centuries.