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UN officials present document committing to rule of law

The United Nations held the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Rule of Law [official website] Monday and released the outcome document [text, PDF] prepared by the meeting. The meeting was attended by the President of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General, the President of the International Court of Justice, the President of the Security Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, leaders of several UN departments and a select group of non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives. The outcome document reaffirms commitment to the rule of law and endorses international justice mechanisms such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website; JURIST news archive] and the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST backgrounder], both UN bodies.

We recognize the role of the International Criminal Court in a multilateral system that aims to end impunity and establish the rule of law, and in this respect, we welcome the States that have been parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and call upon all States that are not yet parties to the Statute to consider ratifying or acceding to it, and emphasize the importance of Cooperation with the Court;
Several leaders spoke at the event [UN News Centre report], including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official transcripts]. The outcome document will eventually be brought before the UN General Assembly [official website] to potentially be adopted as a resolution.

In July Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] advocated for governments to support the ICC more fully [JURIST report]. The statement, which marked the tenth anniversary of the ICC coming into effect, called on nations to demonstrate their support for the court by "publicly committing to backing up the court politically and financially." According to Marek Marczynski who manages AI's International Justice Research, Policy and Campaign office, the ICC should be supported as it gives "hope for justice to victims of heinous crimes around the world that justice will be done." In January Mali became the first African country [JURIST report] to agree to enforce the ICC's sentences of imprisonment. Mali joins Finland, Belgium, Denmark, the UK and Austria as countries which have agreed to detain individuals convicted by the ICC. Finland, Belgium and Denmark were the most recent countries to agree to take convicts [JURIST report].

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