Day of International Criminal Justice: Declaration by the High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the European Union

17 July marks the date of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 1998. On this occasion the European Union reiterates its commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and to support the ICC.

At a time when the world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic and our collective focus should be on supporting and protecting the most vulnerable parts of society, crimes against humanity and war crimes continue to be perpetrated.

The ICC is facing persistent external challenges. We stand firm against all attempts to undermine the international system of criminal justice by hindering the work of its core institutions.

The EU reaffirms its commitment to remain a driving force to strengthen support for international criminal justice and the ICC in particular, as a key actor in the fight against impunity and part of the EU’s wider commitment to the rules-based international order.

We are resolved to protect the integrity of the Rome Statute and the judicial independence of the Court. The EU calls on all States to adhere to their commitments to uphold the rule of law, whether at the ICC or in their national courts, in their actions domestically and through their foreign policy.

The EU recognises that the role of civil society and human rights defenders is more important than ever to defend human rights, promote accountability and protect the rights of the victims of international crimes.

When they adhered to the Rome Statute, States Parties pledged to guarantee lasting respect for and the enforcement of international justice. Let us continue standing by our collective commitment.