Ambassador Aliioaiga Feturi Elisaia delivered Samoa’s national statement during the 16th Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the 7th December 2017. Samoa became a member of the Bureau of State Parties in 2005 and will conclude its term during the 16th Session of the ASP, making it 12 consecutive years of service. Ambassador Aliioaiga echoed its sincere appreciation of the confidence and trust placed by the members of the ICC, Asia Pacific Group region to Samoa during its term on the Bureau. It has been Samoa’s privilege to contribute in a modest way to the work of the Assembly and further the cause of the court. Samoa’s support are evident through its ratification of the Rome Statute in 2002; the election in 2003 of former Ambassador Tuiloma Neroni Slade as one of the first 18 judges to serve on the International Criminal Court, the ratification of the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statue in 2012 and the enactment of Samoa’s ICC Amendment Act in2014 to name a few.
The President of the ICC, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi was hosted by Samoa as the Chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) during the PIF Leaders annual meeting in September 2017. Ambassador Aliioaiga emphasized the importance of the visit by Judge Silvia on many fronts such as that was the first visit by a sitting Head of an organ of the Court to address the Pacific Heads of State and Governments. It was a pro-active outreach towards universality of the Rome Statute and itself a living testimony of the Court’s commitment to States in our region.
Ambassador Aliioaiga congratulated the six newly elected judges to serve on the ICC bench as well as the new Bureau members who will guide the work of the Court.