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. It must be noted that three 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 resolutions on the promotion of the International Criminal Court.

In accordance with this commitment, the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs has been holding Technical working meeting that “discuss, among other matters, measures that could strengthen cooperation with the International Criminal Court,” counting among the panelists members of the organs of the Court, international organizations and institutions, and civil society.

It is important to note that the Inter-American Juridical Committee elaborated several studies during the first decade since the adoption of the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court.