United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the decision of Gambia’s President Adama Barrow to reverse his country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
According to a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Guterres “welcomes that the Gambia will remain a State Party to the International Criminal Court’s founding instrument” and remains confident that States Parties will continue to further strengthen the Court through a constructive dialogue.
The notification concerning the rescission of withdrawal was delivered to the UN chief on February 10.
The Gambia had formally notified the UN chief, who is the depository of the Rome Statute of the ICC, of its withdrawal from the Rome Statute in November last year – a decision which the Secretary-General deeply regretted.
It is noted that over the past two decades, the world has made decisive strides towards building a truly global system of international criminal justice, with the ICC as its centerpiece.
The Gambia, like so many other African countries, played a major role in the negotiations leading to the adoption of the Rome Statute and was among its first signatories.
The court’s Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda is Gambian-born.
The ICC’s founding Rome Statute sets out the Court’s jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and – as of an amendment in 2010 – the crime of aggression.
It also addresses issues such as admissibility and applicable law, the composition and administration of the Court, investigations and prosecution, trials, penalties, appeal and revision, international cooperation and judicial assistance, and enforcement.