A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (18 December) on the activation of the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression, as agreed at the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute:
During the very last night of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, an historic decision was reached in New York at the end of last week as regards activating jurisdiction over the crime of aggressive war.
Significant progress in the development of international law has thus now been achieved. The Charter of the United Nations’ prohibition on the use of violence, as the heart of the international legal order, has now also been reinforced under international criminal law. At the same time, the decision, on which consensus was reached, sends a firm political message of continued support for the International Criminal Court.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague is responsible for prosecuting the most serious crimes, which affect the international community as a whole. Under the Rome Statute, these crimes are genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Rome Statute defines the crime of aggression as the fourth crime for which the International Criminal Court is responsible. However, the States Parties were unable to reach agreement on this in 1998.
Following difficult negotiations, it finally proved possible to activate jurisdiction over the crime of aggression at the Assembly of States Parties in New York. In view of its own history, and as a firm supporter of international law, Germany has constantly taken part in these negotiations.