His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands will officially open the permanent premises of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”) during a ceremony hosted by the ICC President, Judge Silvia Fernández, and H.E. Mr Sidiki Kaba, President of the Assembly of States Parties. H.E. Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, will also attend the event that will be held on Tuesday, 19 April 2016, from 15:00 to 16:30 (The Hague local time) at the seat of the Court in The Hague (Netherlands).
H.E. Mr Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Mr Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of the city of The Hague, as well as Mr Bill Pace, Convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, will speak at the event, which will be attended by over 350 guests, including representatives of States and other international tribunals and organisations, members of NGOs, representatives of the academia and media. Around 10 countries will be represented at the Ministerial level.
The ICC finalised its move into its new, permanent premises on 14 December 2015. The Court required a functional purpose-built premises to effectively fulfil its mandate in the fight against impunity for perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. The design of the building reflects the transparency of the institution and its innovativeness. It combines striking architecture with stringent security measures, while showcasing best practices in sustainability and respect for nature, within the natural dune landscape between The Hague and the North Sea.
The building complex consists of six towers that are connected on the ground and first floors and offer over 1,200 workplaces. The largest tower, the Court Tower, accommodates three courtrooms and the media center.
Since its opening on 1 July 2002, the ICC was temporarily located in two buildings on the other side of The Hague. In December 2007, the Assembly of States Parties decided that the ICC should be provided with newly built permanent premises. In 2010, following an international competition, the Danish firm schmidt hammer lassen was selected to design the new premises and in October 2012 Courtys, a consortium of the VolkerWessels subsidiaries Visser & Smit Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren, was chosen for the realisation.
Construction work started on 16 April 2013.