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Statement by H.E. Tiina Intelmann, Ambassador-at-Large for International Criminal Court at the Ceremony for the Solemn Undertaking, ICC

28.03.2012

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are assembled here for the solemn undertaking of the oath of office of five new judges elected in December by the Assembly of States Parties, whom I have the honor to represent today.

In the second decade of the 21st century the most atrocious crimes are still being committed around the world. Innocent people are being subjected to horrendous suffering, torture, mutilation and sexual crimes. In many instances the yearning for justice remains unanswered. It is thus indispensable to continue the fight against impunity.

We are about to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the Rome Statute. During the first decade we have established the Court, put in place its normative and operational framework, also have overcome numerous concerns and addressed misperceptions about the novel institution. Furthermore, we have worked diligently and effectively towards universality of ratification of the Statute. I intend to focus part of my time in encouraging additional States to join the Rome Statute family, thus limiting as much as possible the space where crimes may not be properly investigated.

In a few days, the Court will deliver its first judgment. This is a new milestone, an event the international community has been waiting for.

The Court’s institutional reputation and its place in the international system are contingent upon the ability to deliver justice with all the guarantees of a fair trial, in accordance with the Rome Statute.

Imparting justice in cases brought before the Court is a complex and sensitive undertaking. The responsibility and the challenges are enormous.

The Assembly has elected judges in regular three cycles for the past nine years. The Assembly has also assumed its responsibility of providing the Court with the requisite support in many different areas, including continuing strong diplomatic and political support. States Parties are making extra efforts to endow the Court with the requisite financial resources.

It was a special honor for me to have chaired the tenth session of the Assembly of States Parties where six judges were elected.

At its 2nd meeting, held from 12 to 16 December 2011, the Assembly proceeded to elect six judges of the International Criminal Court in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Rome Statute, as well as of resolution ICC-ASP/3/Res.6.

The following candidates were elected judges of the International Criminal Court:

(a) Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona;

(b) Miriam Defensor-Santiago;

(c) Chile Eboe-Osuji;

(d) Robert Fremr;

(e) Olga Venecia Herrera Carbuccia; and

(f) Howard Morrison.

On behalf of the Assembly, I thus welcome the incorporation of the new judges to the bench of the Court, who, I know, will earnestly assume these challenges.

I also take this opportunity to convey the appreciation of the Assembly for the valuable contribution of those judges whose mandates are expiring.

The Court should rest assured that it will have the support of all States Parties as we remain united and relentless in our common struggle to fight against impunity.

May I conclude by thanking the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the host State, for the support it offers to the International Criminal Court.

Thank you Mr. President.

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