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93 countries including U.S. allies come to defence of International Criminal Court

Jun 16, 2024

BRUSSELS, Belgium – Ninety-three countries, including U.S. allies France, Germany, the UK, Canada and Australia, have thrown their support behind the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has come under fire from Israeli and U.S. politicians over its investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, along with charges of plausible genocide, emanating from the 7 October attacks by Hamas in Israel, and the Israeli response in Gaza in the 8 months since.

“As States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), we uphold that the Court, its officials, and staff shall carry out their professional duties as international civil servants without intimidation. In line with the 17 May 2024 press release of the President of the Assembly of States Parties and the 3 May 2024 statement by the Office of the Prosecutor, we reconfirm our unwavering support for the Court as an independent and impartial judicial institution,” the statement of the 93 countries released on Friday said.

“In this regard, we reiterate our commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and to preserve its integrity from any political interference and pressure against the Court, its officials, and those cooperating with it. We renew our resolve to stand united against impunity.”

“The ICC, as the world’s first and only permanent international criminal court, is an essential component of the international peace and security architecture. We therefore call on all States to ensure full cooperation with the Court for it to carry out its important mandate of ensuring equal justice for all victims of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression, grave crimes that threaten the peace, security, and well-being of the world,” the statement said.

“By giving our full support to the ICC and promoting its role, we contribute to ending impunity for such crimes and preventing their recurrence while defending the progress we have made together to guarantee lasting respect for international humanitarian law, human rights, the rule of law, and the enforcement of international criminal justice.”

It should be noted neither Israel or Hamas are mentioned in Friday’s statement, however it comes at a time when the international court has been coming under fire from Israeli leaders and members of the U.S. Congress, to the point where the Congress is seeking to sanction members and officials of the ICC, and parties that support them. Last month, on 20 May 2024, the ICC announced it was making applications for the arrest of Israeli government and military leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as leaders of Hamas. U.S. President Joe Biden described the move against Israeli leaders as “outrageous,” while House Speaker Mike Johnson, described it as “baseless and illegitimate.”

What is the International Criminal Court and why does it worry Israeli leaders? | The Times of Israel

Following are the 93 countries that endorsed Friday’s statement in support of the International Criminal Court (ICC):

Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, State of Palestine, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Gambia, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vanuatu.

Meantime, on Saturday, the Israeli military intensified land, sea, and air attacks on Rafah, with a reported 28 Palestinians killed, including three households. The Qassam Brigades claimed Israeli air strikes have killed two Israeli hostages. The report could not be confirmed. Local media say the U.S. wants to allow Israel time to complete its operations in Rafah before a ceasefire should come into effect. The military, according to reports, including in The Jerusalem Post, says it needs another two weeks.

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