On 15 February 2013 Côte d’Ivoire ratified the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), also called the Rome Statute thereby become the 122nd state party to the ICC. The country signed the Statute already in 1998 and accepted the jurisdiction of the Court in 2003 through a Declaration based on article 12, paragraph 3 of the Rome Statute. However, ratification of the Rome Statute was delayed because it was determined to be unconstitutional by Côte d’Ivoire’s Constitutional Court. Civil society organisations, both national and international, set up conferences, advocated and conducted trainings and with the help of some supportive members of Parliament, they made sure the Constitution was properly amended so that ratification became possible.
The Permanent Representative of Côte d’Ivoire to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Youssoufou Bamba personally deposited the ratification with President of the Assembly of States Parties, H.E. Mrs. Tiina Intelmann. Amb. Intelmann noted that this would strengthen the ICC and the universality of the Rome Statute. She is also looking forward to cooperating with Côte d’Ivoire. Ali Ouattara, president of the Ivorian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CI-CPI) was also very pleased with the ratification. He considers it ‘an important instrument for the fight against impunity’ and notes that ‘only justice can provide lasting peace and a successful reconciliation in Cote d’Ivoire.