The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, conducted her first mission to the Republic of Argentina from the 8th to the 12th of April, 2018.
The four-day programme included the Prosecutor’s participation in a high level conference marking the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute establishing the ICC. At the conference, she stressed the importance of the creation of the ICC and need for continued support and cooperation. Referring to the 1998 Rome conference where the ICC was born, she stated, “Argentina fully understood, as did many other states which have experienced the tragedy that befalls a nation when atrocities are committed, the value of such a permanent international court and the historic opportunity that presented itself, ” adding “Argentina, and many other states represented there, seized that crucial moment, and I wanted to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for that collective visionary leadership and commitment to the fight against impunity”.
She also conducted a series of bilateral meetings with the authorities, including notably with H.E. Mr Jorge Marcelo Faurie, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, H.E. Mr Germán Carlos Garavano, Minister for Justice and Human Rights, and H.E. Mr Eduardo Ezequiel Casal, the Attorney-General of Argentina.
Prosecutor Bensouda and her delegation further participated in an international seminar organized by the University of Lanús where she delivered a lecture on the investigation and prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes and crimes against and affecting children from the perspective of her Office. She thanked the University ofLanús for graciously hosting her and her team and for the notable commitment of the University to raising awareness and the promotion of accountability for atrocity crimes and gross violations of human rights.
During the course of her mission, she visited the Museum of Memory and Human Rights Site ESMA, which was infamously used as the former Clandestine Centre for Detention, Torture and Extermination during the dictatorship years of 1976 to 1983. She also visited the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF), located on the ESMA site.
While in Argentina, Prosecutor Bensouda also took the opportunity to engage with national media to explain to the public her mandate and activities as Prosecutor of the ICC. She used the occasion to stress the importance of State Party cooperation, and in this context, commended Argentina for signing all four cooperation agreements with the ICC, including most recently agreements on interim release and release of ICC detained persons.