Candidacy of the ICC to the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

We publish the letter, sent by UEF-Spain to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, putting forward the candidacy of the ICC to the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.

It is for us an honour to table the candidacy of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. The ICC constitutes a major improvement in the international justice system. The ICC is a permanent institution, beyond the creation of ad-hoc, though important, international courts, like the ones that tried the genocides in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

An efficient and peaceful global governance system requires a network of representative and judicial institutions of a transnational nature, since the major challenges humankind is facing, such as climate change, refugee flows, or organised crime, among other are of cross-border nature. This includes genocide or war crimes, which even when limited to one country can often not be prosecuted by the local justice system. As a Court of last resort, the ICC seeks to complement, not replace, national Courts.

The creation of the Rome Statute in 1998, currently adopted by 123 nations, was in itself a historic event, marking a milestone in humankind's efforts towards international justice. The ICC was established thanks to the original efforts of a global coalition of NGOs led by the World Federalist Movement. Its reality is proof of what civil society is able to achieve also in the global scene. The Rome Statute then took effect in 2002, upon ratification by 60 States.

The ICC (and the Rome Statute system) is considered one of the most important Human Rights advancements in the Twentieth century. The ICC is the cornerstone of a system that maintains that there can be no impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression. The Court aims to hold those responsible accountable for their crimes and to help prevent these crimes from happening again.

By supporting the Court, the countries that have joined the Rome Statute system have taken a stand against those who, in the past, would have had no one to answer to after committing widespread, systematic international crimes. The ICC calls on all countries to join the fight against impunity, so that perpetrators of such crimes are punished, and to help prevent future occurrences of these crimes.

There have thus far been 28 cases before the Court, with some cases having more than one suspect.  The ICC judges have issued 36 arrest warrants. Thanks to cooperation from States, 17 people have been detained in the ICC detention centres and have appeared before the Court. Another 15 people remain at large. Charges have been dropped against 4 people due to their deaths. The ICC judges have also issued 8 summonses to appear. The judges have convicted 9 people and acquitted 4.

We also would like to highlight some of the biggest achievements of the ICC, such as prosecuting the former dictator of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, responsible of more than 300.000 deaths and about 2,7 million displaced people by his regime, as reported by The New York Times on 11 February 2020.

Unfortunately, some major countries have not yet ratified the Rome Statute, so the recognition that we are proposing will contribute to strengthen global public opinion and awareness, thus putting pressure on those governments that have not yet joined the global community of countries committed to peace and justice.

In the current geopolitical climate, the rules-based order and the multilateral governance system are increasingly challenged. This award is necessary more than ever when the Trump Administration, as it is reported by the Financial Times on 3 September 2020, is attacking the Rome Statute system of criminal justice by imposing sanctions to ICC officials for investigating possible responsibilities of the United States during the war of Afganistan.

There cannot be peace without justice. International justice can contribute to long‐term peace, stability and equitable development in post‐conflict societies. These elements are the pillars of a future free of violence.

For the ICC's commitment global justice and a rule-based order, we recommend the award in its favour of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Centro Studi sul Federalismo

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