The ICC was established on 17 July 1998 by the ratification of the Rome Statute at a conference organized by the United Nations to prosecute crimes such as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The Charter entered into force on 1 July 2002 after ratification by the requisite number of countries. Although 123 countries have ratified the Charter, several large and emerging powers, including Russia, the United States, China, and India, have not ratified it. Since neither the ICC nor the UN has its own force, the Charter stipulates that member states will be responsible for cooperating in the implementation of the court’s requests and orders.
The African Union and the Arab League did not support the ICC’s arrest warrant for former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Several countries, including South Africa, have not executed ICC warrants and he has traveled to several countries unimpeded. However, after the ouster of Omar al-Bashir in a popular coup in 1989, the new Sudanese government agreed to send him to the ICC for trial in 2020.
President Putin is unlikely to be arrested while still in power. But as his visit to the 123 countries participating in the charter became risky, it also created a new challenge for all those countries.
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