Thursday, May 30, 2024

The ICC President on Human Rights Day

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Statement of ICC President, Judge Piotr Hofmański, for Human Rights Day

Today, the International Criminal Court joins the world in marking Human Rights Day. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on this day by the United Nations in 1948, turns 75 this year. It is an important milestone in the protection of human rights worldwide.

This year’s theme, “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All,” resonates particularly with the Court’s mandate. The ICC seeks accountability for those who have perpetrated the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression. Victims are at the heart of the Court’s proceedings and deserve justice. Through its work, the Court can help protect and uphold the rights of people to live in peace, equality and dignity.

“This cause… is the cause of all humanity.” These words were spoken by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, when this Court was created, when the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, took effect. That feeling still resonates today. In these troubled times, both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Rome Statute are needed more than ever.

The ICC will continue its work for the cause of justice with determination and resilience. For all people of the world to benefit equally from the protection of the law, I encourage all States to accede to the Rome Statute, so we can work together towards a more just world.

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