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Belgium supporting the ICC since its creation

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of The Kingdom of the Belgium published a press release regarding its support for the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The ICC investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.

The Court is participating in a global fight to end impunity, and through international criminal justice, the Court aims to hold those responsible accountable for their crimes and to help prevent these crimes from happening again.

​​The Court states that it cannot reach these goals alone. As a court of last resort, it seeks to complement, not replace, national Courts. Governed by an international treaty called the Rome Statute, the ICC is the world’s first permanent international criminal court.

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In the recent press release, Belgium underlines that strengthening the rule of law and the fight against impunity are among the top priorities of Belgian foreign policy. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, in charge of Foreign and European Affairs: "It is for this reason that Belgium supports, since its creation, this unique and essential judicial institution that is the International Criminal Court, a permanent court with a universal vocation and complementary to national criminal jurisdictions. This support reflects Belgium's commitment to ending the most serious violations of international humanitarian law. Belgium supports the ICC through significant diplomatic and judicial cooperation. Our country was among the first States to ratify the Rome Statute and has been working ever since to consolidate the Court's legal framework, notably by successfully proposing several amendments to include new war crimes in the Statute, such as the use of biological weapons.\

By supporting the fight against impunity, the ICC helps prevent new crimes and contributes to laying the foundations for lasting peace. Victims deserve an effective system to hold accountable those responsible for the worst atrocities.

As the first international criminal court with a universal mandate, the ICC has faced many challenges. The review process of the ICC and the Rome Statute, which Belgium fully supports and actively participates in, should enable the ICC to better face these challenges in the future and to carry out its mission.