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OAS Secretary General Reiterates His Commitment to Promote Ratification of Rome Statute

  March 10, 2011

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met today with the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, Christian Wenaweser, with whom he spoke about the current status of signing and ratification by the Member States of the Organization of the document through which the International Criminal Court (ICC) was created.

During the meeting, which took place at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, Ambassador Wenaweser said 26 countries of the hemisphere have signed the statute to this date, and added that work is currently being conducted with the other countries of Central America and the Caribbean to obtain their signature or accession.

Secretary General Insulza expressed his personal interest in promoting the ratification of the Statute, which was adopted in 1998 and established a new system of international criminal justice. “I am very satisfied with knowing that all countries of South America have signed the Statute, since it is of great importance for the consolidation of international criminal law and to guarantee the role of international justice in consolidating peace,” the head of the hemispheric Organization said, reiterating his commitment to urge those Member States that have not done so to ratify the document.

At the meeting, Secretary General Insulza also recalled that on September 11, 1998, when he was Minister of Foreign Affairs, he signed on behalf of Chile the treaty of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, “on a date selected for its special historical relevance to the country, because it was the 25th anniversary of the military coup in my country”.”

During his visit to OAS headquarters, Ambassador Wenaweser made a presentation before the Permanent Council’s Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs in which he spoke about receiving support from and cooperating with the OAS to obtain more signatures, and also referred to the current challenges faced by the ICC, its role and the importance of achieving the universalization of this international instrument.

During the 40th OAS General Assembly, held in Lima, Peru, in June 2010, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Americas called on the Member States “to consider ratifying or acceding to the Rome Statute” and urged the member states that are parties or signatories to the Rome Statute and to “promote and respect its intent and its purpose, in order to preserve its effectiveness and integrity and bring about its universal adoption”. Such resolutions have been considered by the Permanent Council since 2001.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-560/11