On 29 August in Vilnius, the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius met with the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ambassador Tiina Intelmann to discuss important issues related to Lithuania’s Presidency of the EU Council in the context of activities of the ICC.
During the meeting, a lot of attention was dedicated to preparations for the 12 session of the Assembly, which is to be held from 20 to 28 November at The Hague in the Netherlands.
L.Linkevičius stressed that Lithuania, as the rotating EU Presidency and a state party to the Rome Statute, actively supported ambitions related to the activities of the ICC. Lithuania’s Presidency of the EU Council continues to implement the EU’s active policy based on support for impartial, effective, and efficient court activities, and efforts to make all the member states parties to the Rome Statute, properly implementing all international obligations arising from it.
During the meeting, T.Intelmann highlighted the importance of active engagement of the EU and its member states in the activities of the ICC at political level. The President of the Assembly also encouraged the EU member states to continue to support international efforts aimed at achieving universality of the Rome Statute. T.Intelmann called on Lithuania to ratify the amendments to the Rome Statute that were adopted in 2010 in Kampala, Uganda.
During the visit, the President of the Assembly is also holding meetings with the Minister of Justice Juozas Bernatonis and the Chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs of the Seimas (Parliament) Julius Sabatauskas.
The legal basis for establishing the permanent ICC – the Rome Statute - was adopted in 1998. The ICC with its seat at The Hague is the first permanent international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes, such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crimes of aggression.
The European Union and its member states have been among the most active supporters of the ICC since the start of its activities in 2002. Currently, 122 countries are parties to the Rome Statute. Lithuania became a party to the Rome Statute on 1 August 2003.
The EU coordinates its position on issues related to the ICC through the Council Working Group devoted to the ICC. During the period of Lithuania’s EU Presidency, the working group is chaired by a representative from the Law and International Treaties Department of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.