Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

‘More countries should sign up to the International Criminal Court'

The Netherlands has called on all countries to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which is based in The Hague.

The Netherlands has called on all countries to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which is based in The Hague.

‘In this way the international community can show that no one, not even a head of state, is above the law,’ foreign minister Uri Rosenthal said. ‘Not if they are guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.’

Today it is 10 years since the ICC opened its doors. At that time, 60 countries had ratified the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the Court. That figure now stands at 121. Mr Rosenthal said he was delighted with this progress, but at the same time he argued that parties to the Statute should be working harder to persuade other countries to sign up.

‘The International Criminal Court is an essential part of a chain designed to protect people from serious human rights violations,’ Mr Rosenthal said. ‘The Court is nothing without the support of its member states. I say that on the behalf of the Netherlands in its capacity not only as the ICC host state but also as a party to the Rome Statute.’