EU High Representative Catherine Ashton Wednesday underlined the EU's commitment to preserving the independence of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to promoting the universality and integrity of the Rome Statute.
"Today we celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which marked a historic commitment to ensuring the prevention and deterrence of atrocities," she declared in a statement.
Ashton noted that at the first Rome Statute Review Conference held in Kampala, Uganda in 2010, the states parties to the Rome Statute decided to celebrate July 17 as the Day of International Criminal Justice.
The ICC is the first permanent international criminal court and the serious crimes within its jurisdiction are of concern to the international community as a whole.
Delivering on this promise of justice to victims of these crimes is both a moral imperative and an essential contribution to peace, security, and well-being of the world, she stressed.
While states have the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute atrocities, the ICC has developed into a key instrument in combatting impunity, preventing future crimes, and promoting an international order based on the rule of law, stated the EU foreign policy chief.