The Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG) celebrates July 17th as the annual Day of International Criminal Justice. This year's celebration marks the 25th anniversary of the international community adopting the Rome Statute, which serves as the foundational treaty for the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Rome Statute provides the ICC with jurisdiction over the three categories of mass atrocities, namely genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, besides the crime of aggression. These are the gravest crimes of concern to the international community as a whole.
Located in The Hague, Netherlands, the ICC stands as the world's first and sole permanent international criminal court. It assumes the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting individuals accused of these international crimes when States are unable or unwilling to do so. Through the realm of international criminal justice, the Court holds perpetrators accountable and thereby contributes to preventing the recurrence of such atrocities.
After its adoption in 1998, the Rome Statute came into force in 2002. Currently, 123 States are Parties to the Rome Statute. Out of them, 33 are African States, 19 are Asia-Pacific States, 18 are Eastern European, 28 are from Latin America and the Caribbean, and 25 are from Western European and other States.
AIPG's work in providing training and technical assistance to State officers, civil society, and other global actors contributes positively to international criminal justice. We empower our alumni to better understand mass atrocities and the ways to prevent them.AIPG recognizes that justice for past crimes is crucial for future prevention and actively promotes awareness regarding the ways in which States can enhance their investigation and prosecution of these crimes and in which other actors can contribute through effective documentation of ongoing crimes. AIPG's work also contributes towards a better understanding and collaboration of these stakeholders with the ICC, as we acknowledge the significance of the ICC's endeavors in ensuring the prosecution of perpetrators.
On the 2023 Day of International Criminal Justice, the Auschwitz Institute highlights the ongoing need for robust global criminal justice mechanisms to combat impunity and secure justice for victims. AIPG acknowledges and values the essential contributions made by individuals and institutions engaged in the fight against mass atrocities. By holding those accountable for humanity's most serious crimes, they play a vital role in this pursuit of justice. As stated by AIPG's Academic Programs Associate for Latin America and International Law, Ms. Mariana Salazar:
Combatting impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide is critical to prevent their recurrence. Prevention is a collective responsibility, to which we all must contribute in every way we can. AIPG's work is an essential piece in the international criminal justice agenda.