From 2 to 7 December 2019, the delegation of Latvia is taking part in the Eighteenth Session of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
In her statement during the general debate, the Ambassador of Latvia to the Netherlands, Aiga Liepiņa, expressed strong support for the rules-based international order and the Court’s central role in the international justice system and prosecuting the most heinous crimes. The Ambassador underlined Latvia’s commitment to upholding and defending the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute to fight the impunity for the gravest crimes at the national level.
This year’s Assembly of States Parties is considering specific tasks to ensure that an effective review process to evaluate the functioning of the ICC could take place next year. This process is to be entrusted to a group of independent experts, which would develop specific recommendations for the Assembly of States Parties both concerning the effectiveness of the ICC performance and the responsibility of States Parties. The states have paid special attention to the criteria and the national-level procedures for nominating ICC judges. At the next Assembly of States Parties in New York in December 2020, the next ICC Prosecutor and a number of judges will be elected.
Not only States Parties themselves are actively engaged in the Assembly, but also civil society organisations, which are important partners and offer recommendations to improve ICC performance.
122 countries have currently ratified and acceded to the Rome Statute of the ICC as States Parties. The most recent country to ratify the Rome Statute was Kiribati – on 26 November 2019 – and it becomes a member state on 1 February 2020.
Read the Statement by Latvia at the Assembly of States Parties here.
The International Criminal Court began functioning in 2002 and has its permanent seat in The Hague, Netherlands. It was established pursuant to the Rome Statute adopted on 17 July 1998. The court’s jurisdiction is complementary to national criminal jurisdiction. The ICC functions as a court of last resort, investigating and punishing the gravest crimes against humanity. Latvia signed the Rome Statute on 22 April 1999 and ratified it on 20 June 2020.