Informal Ministerial Network for the ICC: NPWJ praises commitment to enhance impact of the Court through robust and early outreach strategy

27 Sep, 2013 | Press Releases

Brussels – Rome – New York, 27 September 2013

Yesterday, in a meeting held in New York in the margins of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Informal Ministerial Network for the International Criminal Court (ICC), a group of 24 Ministers from all over the world engaged in supporting the work of the Court, met in New York to adopt a declaration of commitment to the ICC. In the declaration, the Ministers recognised the ICC as a cornerstone instrument in the fight against impunity and agreed on several priority areas in which action is required to support the Court in discharging its mandate. Emma Bonino, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and founder of No Peace Without Justice, took part in the meeting.
The Informal Ministerial Network for the ICC was founded in September 2012 by the Foreign Minister of Liechtenstein, HE Aurelia Frick. The purpose of the informal network is to give the ICC the political backing it needs to continue to deliver high-quality justice in an impartial and independent manner for the victims of the most serious crimes under international law.

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:

“Yesterday’s Informal Ministerial Network (IMN) meeting and outcome document are important opportunities for the 24 members of the network to reaffirm their individual and collective support for the International Criminal Court as a critical tool in the fight against impunity. We fully agree with the assertion in the declaration that to maintain and strengthen its relevance and impact, the ICC must have teeth: it must be sufficiently well resourced and supported, and it must be sufficiently effective and efficient. We are gratified that the IMN has recognised this and we look forward to this recognition having an impact during discussions at the 12th Assembly of States Parties to be convened on 20-28 November 2013 in The Hague.

“To give real teeth to the promise of justice, all States Parties should fulfil their obligations under the Rome Statute and cooperate fully with the ICC, notably by ensuring the enforcement of all its outstanding arrest warrants. We cannot – and must not – forget that there are still numerous fugitives from justice: their prompt arrest and transfer to face trial is the least that their victims deserve. For this reason, we particularly welcome the IMN’s statement that all States must ensure that there will be no safe haven anywhere in the world in which alleged war criminals may hide.

“For the fight against impunity to be won, the victims and populations affected by crimes also need to be and to remain front and centre in the accountability process. In this respect, we particularly welcome the IMN’s commitment to support early outreach by the ICC as a crucial tool to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the ICC work as well as its positive impact on victims and populations that have suffered crimes under international law.

“As we have constantly stressed, ensuring outreach to concerned populations and encouraging victim participation, especially of the most vulnerable people such as women and children, from the start is an important means by which to fulfil the most important role of the Court’s mandate. Both of these elements is crucial to facilitate a sense of shared justice and accountability for the ICC’s primary constituents, namely the victims of the crimes it investigates and prosecutes.

“These efforts will have a tremendous impact in the coming years on the ability of the ICC to ensure a positive and lasting legacy, by restoring trust in the rule and institutions of law and building sustainable peace, in countries in which it operates and how it is perceived. We urge States Parties to keep this in mind, in the lead-up to and during the 12th session of the Assembly of States Parties, and to take the proper decisions that will allow the Court to be responsive to the needs and expectations of millions of people who are looking to it for justice and redress”.


For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548 39 12 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-3915.