The Contribution of the ICC to the Maintenance of International Peace & Security
Ambassador Harold Agyeman
Ghana’s Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
July 18, 2023
“25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ROME STATUTE ADOPTION: THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT TO THE MAINTENANCE OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY”
Ghana aligns with the statement read by Ecuador on behalf of Member States of the Security Council that are States party to the Rome Statute. Ghana remains committed to the Rome Statute and cherishes the International Criminal Court as a mechanism for addressing serious international crimes and particularly for deterring potential perpetrators of such crimes.
It is for this reason that Ghana is pleased to have co-sponsored this Arria Formula meeting to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
We reaffirm our support for the fundamental values of the Rome Statute and reiterate that adherence to those values by all are essential to the administration of international criminal justice and the maintenance of international peace and security.
In light of past concerns that the Court is narrowly focused on cases in Africa, we reiterate the importance of ensuring that the Court’s activities are undertaken in a fair, impartial and transparent manner. This is particularly essential in view of the reservations of some States Parties, which led to their withdrawal from the Rome Statute. The Court must seek to address all alleged crimes within its jurisdiction without fear as to the nationality of perpetrators.
Ghana has always strongly supported the key pillars and principles underpinning the Rome Statute, namely, complementarity, cooperation, independence and impartiality of the Court. We affirm the need for effective operationalization of the principle of complementarity and call on States Parties with the required capacity to provide technical assistance to those that need to develop their prosecutorial and judicial capacity to be able to deal with the national courts with crimes that their inability to handle would bring under the Rome Statute.
We recall the clarification and the dispersal of suspicions and scepticism that accrued when Ghana, in collaboration with other partners, hosted a conference in March 2016 on the theme “The International Criminal Court and Africa: A Discussion on Legitimacy, Impunity, Selectivity, Fairness and Accountability”.
In assessing the ICC’s collaboration with the Security Council, Ghana believes that despite two referrals from the Council, the issue of referrals would always be problematic due to the political determinations that are made on such matters and the existence of the veto. Also, even though the crime of aggression has become a part of the jurisdiction of the Court since the 2010 Kampala review, its operationalization is difficult.
Ghana commends the voluntary contributions being made to the Trust Fund for Victims of Crimes of the Rome Statute. The support to the Fund is important for restorative justice for victims. Ghana also commends the ongoing engagement between the coalition of civil society groups with the Court. Such dialogues can help individual victims to find a voice for the ventilation of their sufferings while enhancing legal aid for their effective representation and compensation.
In closing, Ghana would like to underscore the fact that overall, the establishment of the Court is a good thing in deterring potential international crimes and contributing to the maintenance of international peace and security. However, Ghana also believes the Court can do more.
I thank you, Co-Chairs