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Estonian Ambassador Nominated for Position of President of Assembly of States Parties of International Criminal Court


The member states of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have decided to nominate Estonian Ambassador Tiina Intelmann as a candidate to be the president of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court for the next three years. Ambassador Intelmann’s nomination is scheduled to be approved at the meeting of the member states of the ICC starting in New York on 12 December 2011. Intelmann was Estonia’s permanent representative to the UN from 2005 to 2010; currently she is the Estonian ambassador to Israel and non-residing ambassador to Montenegro.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that Estonia has been an active supporter of the creation of the court and of the ICC’s work. “Estonia participated in the discussions on creating an international criminal court in Rome back in 1998 and was a founding member of the court,” Paet noted. “In the years following the creation of the court Estonia has continued to actively reinforce the court’s role. Estonia is also represented in the court’s budgetary committee,” he added.

According to the foreign minister, the nomination of Intelmann for this role is a show of great international recognition. “Among other things, Intelmann would be the first woman to lead the assembly of 116 member states,” he added.

The decision of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court to nominate Ambassador Intelmann was based on her broad international experience and her experiences leading successful negotiations as an ambassador to the UN and at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Ambassador Intelmann has worked with UN and ICC matters for a total of ten years. In the summer of 2010 Ambassador Intelmann successfully concluded negotiations on making the UN’s development aid system more effective and on creating an agency to address women’s rights and gender equality.

Estonian Ambassador Tiina Intelmann was born in Tallinn in 1963. She graduated from Leningrad State University with a degree in Italian and French. Intelmann entered the foreign service in 1991. From 1995-1998 she worked in the permanent representation to the UN. Until 2002 Intelmann was the Estonian ambassador to the OSCE in Vienna. From 2003-2005 Tiina Intelmann was the Foreign Ministry undersecretary for political and press affairs. Starting in 2005 Intelmann worked as the Estonian ambassador to the UN in New York.

The creation of the ICC is considered one of the greatest breakthroughs in international law in the last decades, since an international criminal court was created on the basis of a permanent agreement. Genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes all fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC. The ICC begins proceedings when domestic courts are not able to or do not wish to put the perpetrators of these crimes on trial. The court may also begin proceedings at the request of the UN Security Council. In accordance with the decision made at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute held last year in Uganda, as of 2017 the court will also be able to prosecute crimes of aggression. The International Criminal Court is based in The Hague. The court’s 18 judges and prosecutors are selected by the member states.

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