SOCIAL WORK DAY UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK 15 April 2002
On the occasion of Social Work Day at the United Nations on April 15, 2002, the International Federation of Social Workers, comprising of almost half a million social work professionals in 79 countries in the world share our joy for reaching the required 60 number of ratifications to the Rome Statute which establishes the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Court will be the first permanent, independent judicial body that will prosecute serious cases of international concern: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. We congratulate the 139 states that have signed and the more than 60 states that have ratified in their daring effort to create the Court in such a historic short period of time. We appeal to the countries that have not ratified so far, to accede to the treaty for it to have universal jurisdiction.
As a profession, social work shares the principles of justice and objectives towards attainment of world peace which inspired and led to the drafting and adoption of the Rome Statute in 1998 that would create the ICC. Social work aims to work for the dignity of human beings and the enhancement of their life to their full capacity in order for them to be productive contributors to society. The establishment of the Court provides a mechanism for redress for most serious crimes that not only dehumanize and destroy the dignity of individuals and societies but also end lives and destroy structures and environment that sustain present and future generations.
We commit ourselves to work for the protection and promotion of individual, group, community and peoples’ rights and to seek justice whenever and wherever these rights are violated. We join in solidarity with the international community in various efforts that would put an end to impunity, to violence and war and in initiatives towards resolving conflicts and in attaining lasting world peace.
We call on the human family to address the root causes of violence and to build a culture of peace and respect for human rights.
We appeal to governments and civil societies to make the Court independent, effective and truly an instrument of justice and world peace.
IMELDA DODDS TOM JOHANNESEN