International Criminal Court: President Piotr Hofmański visits Guinea-Bissau and encourages ratification of the Rome Statute
Grace ATALUI MOKANGO
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
In a press release dated 21 April 2022, it is stated that Judge Piotr Hofmański, in his capacity as President of the International Criminal Court, visited Guinea-Bissau on the African Continent. On this occasion, he met with the country's highest authorities to encourage the ratification of the Rome Statute, which is the founding treaty of the Court.
It was further stated that President Hofmański held productive discussions with H.E. Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau; H.E. Cipriano Cassamá, President of the National Assembly; H.E. José Pedro Sambú, President of the Supreme Court of Justice; H.E. Soares Sambú, Deputy Prime Minister; H.E. Suzi Barbosa, Minister of Foreign Affairs; H.E. Teresa Alexandrina da Silva, Minister of Justice; and leaders of parliamentary groups. The European Commission financially supported the visit. Furthermore, He finally met with H.E. Anthony Ohemeng-Boamah, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Guinea-Bissau; H.E. Sónia Neto, Head of the European Union delegation in Guinea-Bissau; and other members of the diplomatic corps based in Bissau.
However, Guinea-Bissau has only signed the Rome Statute in 2000 but has never ratified it. This visit was indeed an opportunity for President Hofmański to raise awareness of the importance of ratification, which involves a commitment to maintaining peace, security, and the prevention of the commission of international crimes. Finally, he emphasised that by joining the ICC, Guinea-Bissau would make the international criminal justice system more universal and thus strengthen the fight against impunity and the access of victims to justice on all continents of the world.
Source and further reading
International Criminal Court, ICC President visits Guinea-Bissau to encourage ratification of the Rome Statute, Press release, ( 21 April 2022), from: https://www.icc-cpi.int/news/icc-president-visits-guinea-bissau-encourage-ratification-rome-statute