NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 17 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has started the process of acquiring its own permanent premises after construction works kicked off on Tuesday in The Hague.
According to the ICC Public Affairs Unit, the new building will be ready for occupation at the end of 2015.
ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song who attended the ceremony said the new building will be a landmark step in giving the court a new state-of-the-art building; “an institution of global significance deserves a world class premises. That, I am pleased to say, is what we are building here.”
The head of the Oversight Committee Roberto Bellelli agreed that the process will be important in increasing space and allowing the court to operate efficiently in its quest to fight impunity and promote justice.
“This is a point of no return on the path of international criminal justice. The transition to a permanent architecture in international relations whose roots are being excavated in a visible and permanent structure in the ground of The Hague, in a mutually reinforcing relationship of peace and justice between this city and the ICC,” he stated.
The Public Affairs Unit explains that the land where the premises are being put up was given at no cost by the state.
It will be situated near the ICC Detention Centre and International Zone of the Hague which has the Peace Place, Europol, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the Hague World Forum.
The construction project is funded by the 122 States Parties who are signatories to the Rome Statute.
Last November, the Dutch government agreed to partially foot the bill for the International Criminal Court’s rent for the next three years.
Nicknamed “The Arc” because of its distinctive architecture, the current building was initially provided by the Netherlands, which has also paid six million euros ($7.6 million) in yearly rent over the last decade.