The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted in July 17, 1998 establishes in its article 1 that the Court “…shall be a permanent institution and shall have the power to exercise its jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of international concern, as referred to in this Statute, and shall be complementary to national criminal jurisdictions. The jurisdiction and functioning of the Court shall be governed by the provisions of this Statute”.

The Statute entered into force on July 1, 2002, in accordance with article 126 that holds that: “This Statute shall enter into force on the first day of the month after the 60th day following the date of the deposit of the 60th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations”.

To date, 123 have ratified the Statute of Roma, including 29 OAS member states, and the latest that has deposited its instrument of ratification has been El Salvador on March 3, 2016. It must be noted that four OAS member states have signed the Statute but have not become parties yet.

Between 1999 and 2002, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States supported a resolution relating to the adoption of the Statute of Rome, and since 2003 the General Assembly has adopted a resolution on the promotion of the Court.

It is worth underlying that, in accordance with this commitment, the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs held on February 3, 2006 a “Working meeting on appropriate measures that states should take to cooperate with the international criminal court in the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of the perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and crimes against the administration of justice of the international criminal court.” In 2006, the General Assembly adopted the resolution "Promotion of the International Criminal Court".

In 2012, the General Assembly adopted the resolution "Promotion of the International Criminal Court" [AG/RES. 2728 (XLII-O/12)] requesting the Permanent Council to

“hold, prior to the forty-third regular session of the General Assembly, a working meeting with support from the Department of International Law, which should include a high-level dialogue session among the permanent representatives of all member states to discuss, among other matters, measures that could strengthen cooperation with the International Criminal Court. The International Criminal Court, international organizations and institutions, and civil society will be invited to cooperate and participate in this working meeting.”