On Wednesday, 24 May 2017, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “the Court”), Mrs Fatou Bensouda concluded a two-day visit to Accra, Republic of Ghana. The visit highlights the Prosecutor`s ongoing commitment to intensify engagement and dialogue with the African States and relevant stakeholders, including African civil society and academia.
Prosecutor Bensouda began her visit with a meeting with the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Mr Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. The Prosecutor thanked President Akufo-Addo for Ghana`s long-standing support for the Court, and underscored the critical importance of State cooperation. President Akufo-Addo reaffirmed Ghana`s support for the work of the Office of the Prosecutor and a strong commitment to the ICC.
During her visit, the Prosecutor also met with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Ghana, H.E. Ms Gloria Akuffo, along with senior officials from the Ministry of Justice, including the Director of Public Prosecutions and Solicitor General.
The visit also presented the Prosecutor with the opportunity to meet with Ambassadors from States Parties to the Rome Statute and civil society representatives, as well to engage with the media. During these meetings, Prosecutor Bensouda highlighted, in particular, the work of her Office in combating impunity for sexual and gender-based crimes as well as crimes against children. She recalled that in November 2016, her Office officially launched a Policy on Children to enable the Office to more robustly address atrocity crimes against and affecting children.
“My Office devotes special attention to protecting women and children in time of war and conflict by ensuring that atrocity crimes against them are effectively investigated and prosecuted. The challenges are many ““ and we cannot address them alone. At the local, regional and international levels, we must coordinate our efforts to maximize impact.“
On Wednesday, 24 May 2017, the Prosecutor officially launched the African Centre on International Criminal Justice, housed at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (“GIMPA“) in Accra. An initiative conceived during the Prosecutor`s visit to Accra in 2016, the African Centre on International Criminal Justice aims to create a platform for collaboration and scholarship on international criminal justice, and in particular, aims to enhance understanding of the work of the ICC.
The Prosecutor, in her role as guest of honour, stated, “I am really honoured to take part in launching and celebrating the establishment of the African Centre on International Criminal Justice. As I often say, Africa has not only played a key role in the establishment of the ICC, but also in its development and the evolution of international criminal justice more generally. The establishment of the African Centre on International Criminal Justice at GIMPA is yet another important contribution to that legacy.” The Prosecutor congratulated GIMPA for this important initiative and achievement.
Prosecutor Bensouda also noted in her remarks that 25th of May 2017 was Africa Day. This year, the designated theme of Africa Day is: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in the Youth.“ In this context, the Prosecutor delivered special remarks to the youth, calling on them to utilize and contribute to developing the African Centre for International Criminal Justice, in order to enhance knowledge about international criminal justice across the continent.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecution of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Office has been conducting investigations in: Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two separate investigations); Kenya; Libya; CÃ´te d’Ivoire, Mali and Georgia. The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Afghanistan, Colombia, Guinea, Iraq/UK, Palestine, Nigeria, Ukraine, Burundi, Gabon and the registered vessels of Comoros, Greece and Cambodia.
Source: Office of the Prosecutor | OTPNewsDesk@icc-cpi.int