International Criminal Court – a foundation pillar of the rules-based international system

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Currently, 123 states are parties to the Statute.

The foundation of the International Criminal Court marked a historic step forward. Over the years, the ICC has established itself as the most eminent actor in the global fight to end impunity. It has also made a key contribution to strengthening the rule of law at national level.

"The rules-based international system needs unswerving support from us. We must not let the current global gusts and turbulences undermine the support. It is evident that also the International Criminal Court continues to need all possible support, both in political and financial terms and through concrete cooperation," says Foreign Minister Timo Soini.

The realisation of criminal liability for the most serious international crimes is important for Finland from the point of view of foreign policy. It is also one of the political priorities of the United Nations. Finland has been among the active supporters of the ICC since the very beginning. Finland is also one of the most long-standing donor states contributing to the ICC Trust Fund for Victims. In the activities to combat impunity, Finland has paid particular attention to improving the status and rights of victims. Focusing on support for victims of sexual and gender-based violence, Finland has channelled its support especially for women and girls.

Foreign Minister Soini emphasises that Finland self-evidently contributes to bearing the responsibility and ensuring justice for victims of atrocities.  It is not a question only of international law but also, and above all, of human destinies. We support the International Criminal Court because supporting it is vital but, particularly, because it is right.

The jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court encompasses the most serious international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. The ICC may start exercising jurisdiction over the crime of aggression as of 17 July 2018.

Inquiries: Sari Mäkelä, Director of Unit for Public International Law, +358 295 351 446.

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