Statement of William Pace, on behalf of the
Coalition for the International Criminal Court at the signing ceremony
on the accession of El Salvador to the Rome Statute -3 March 2016
On behalf of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and our thousands of member organisations around the world, I want to thank you for this very meaningful ceremony. It feels like there are too few actions to celebrate at the UN in these times.
I found this a very moving ceremony and hope future accessions may be treated with the same level of consecration as we are sharing today.
We wish to congratulate the Minister, President of the Parliamentary Commission, President Kaba, President Fernandez, the Secretary-General and Deputy Legal Counsel, and of course Vice President Cardi for convening this signing meeting.
The accession of the government of El Salvador to the Rome Statute of the ICC is one of the clearest examples of how, going forward, universality will be achieved. Leaders of communities and institutions throughout the international legal order and world community contributed to this accession over many years of efforts - ASP Presidents, ICC Presidents, members of our international NGO coalition, our Americas coalition, and the important efforts of our national coalition in El Salvador – and we must highlight our CICC Steering Committee member, Parliamentarians for Global Action whose work was crucial – so many meetings, missions, conferences over the last 10 years.
We join in congratulating El Salvador for considering and ratifying both the Rome Statue and the Kampala amendments at the same time.
Excellencies, the 124 State Parties of the Rome Statute Assembly of State Parties is one of the largest, most unique and most important intergovernmental groupings in the international legal order. Of course, we have a long way to go, but we are near two-thirds of the international community – a new system of international criminal justice and a permanent court that we were told over and over would never happen in our lifetime.
This is an important meeting for another short clarification – we have heard so much misrepresentation of the term ‘selectivity’ in relation to the ICC – let us be very candid that the primary manifestations of so-called ‘selectivity’ are directly related to the gap in universal ratification and the exercise of complementarity– the 36% of governments that have not accepted the jurisdiction of the Rome Statute are the nations that are the primary cause of ‘selectivity.’
Again, having so many State Parties and Ambassadors attending this long-sought signing ceremony is one of the more moving meetings I have attended at UNHQ in a long time.
The Coalition promises to continue for as many years as it takes to join State Parties and ICC and UN leaders to achieve the end of impunity for the worst crimes in international law, to achieve universality.