On 19 and 20 April 2022, the President of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “the Court”), Judge Piotr Hofmański, visited Guinea-Bissau where he met with the country’s highest authorities to encourage ratification of the Rome Statute, the Court’s founding treaty.
President Hofmański held productive discussions with H.E. Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau; H.E. Cipriano Cassamá, President of the National Assembly; H.E. José Pedro Sambú, President of the Supreme Court of Justice; H.E. Soares Sambú, Deputy Prime Minister; H.E. Suzi Barbosa, Minister of Foreign Affairs; H.E. Teresa Alexandrina da Silva, Minister of Justice; and leaders of parliamentary groups.
In his conversations with the national authorities, President Hofmański emphasised that by ratifying the Rome Statute, countries show their commitment to the rule of law, peace and security. He underlined that joining the ICC is crucial for the prevention of the most serious crimes under international law – genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. He further stressed that by joining the ICC, Guinea Bissau would contribute to making the system of international criminal justice more universal and thereby strengthen the fight against impunity and victims’ access to justice on every continent of the world.
During his visit, President Hofmański also met with H.E. Anthony Ohemeng-Boamah, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Guinea-Bissau; H.E. Sónia Neto, Head of the European Union delegation in Guinea-Bissau; as well as other members of the diplomatic corps based in Bissau.
The Rome Statute, ICC’s founding treaty of the ICC, was adopted on 17 July 1998 and entered into force on 1 July 2002. 123 States are parties to the Statute. Guinea-Bissau signed the Statute on 12 September 2000 but has not ratified it.
The visit was financially supported by the European Commission.