Withdrawal of South Africa from the Rome Statute

The Government of Liechtenstein has taken note with deep regret of the decision of South Africa to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. South Africa was instrumental in the drafting of the Rome Statute and a symbol of human rights and justice on the African continent. Without its voice and contribution, the International Criminal Court could not have been established, and its decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute – as the first State to do so – while fully within the provisions of the treaty, is therefore a matter of deep regret. Liechtenstein hopes that South Africa will reconsider its decision before withdrawal takes effect in October 2017.

Other Governments have recently made similar withdrawal announcements, although none of them has yet deposited a notice of withdrawal with the U.N Secretary-General. We remind all States of the central importance of the International Criminal Court in the fight against impunity worldwide and its crucial place as a beacon of hope for the victims of the most serious crimes under international law. The Rome Statute is one of the most significant achievements in the history of codification of international law. We hope that the international community will rally around it and work together to enhance its acceptance worldwide. We encourage all ICC States Parties with concerns regarding the functioning of the Court to seek resolution of such matters in the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute and will work with them.

Liechtenstein remains committed to the fight against impunity and the universality of the Rome Statute. We urge all ICC States Parties to provide political support to the Court to achieve these two important objectives and will continue working with all of those committed to working for impartial and efficient international criminal justice worldwide.


Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Education and Culture
Domenik Wanger
T +423 236 73 08

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