Written Statement by H.E. Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland
Commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 17 July 2023
Since the adoption of the Rome Statute 25 years ago, the International Criminal Court has made pivotal progress, shaping international criminal law, and contributing to justice for victims of international crimes. Building on the experience from the past, the international community managed to establish a permanent international court trying the most serious crimes of international concern. This was a huge achievement.
A paramount characteristic of the ICC is that within its remit, no one is above the law. Even heads of state and government are subject to the court's scrutiny. And, as a court that must act within the foundational principles of the rule of law, it must retain its absolute independence from any outside influence.
However, the Court and the continued progress of its work is contingent on the States Parties and their support.
In 2022 Iceland responded to the Court’s plea for further funding and provided an additional, unearmarked, contribution of 100 thousand Euros, doubling Iceland’s annual contribution. This was done again this year. The efficiency of the ICC is dependent on the cooperation, both financial and practical, of all its States Parties.
All efforts of the Court should build on a victim-oriented approach. The ICC must be able to fulfil its core purpose of delivering justice to victims. A crucial element of the Court’s delivery of justice is implemented by the Trust Fund for Victims. Iceland is proud to contribute annually to the ICC Trust Fund for Victims.
Iceland welcomes the work of the Office of the Prosecutor to systematically address sexual and gender-based crimes, and its efforts to put focus on the investigation and prosecution of gender persecution.
To ensure consistent and sustainable support for the ICC there needs to be effective outreach and consistent implementation of the Court’s mandate across the situations and cases under its jurisdiction.
Iceland calls on all States that have not yet become party to the Rome Statute to become States Parties. Our common goal is to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the gravest crimes that threaten the peace, security, and well-being of the world, and to contribute to the prevention of such crimes. This goal has not been reached and we must work together to realise it.