The Secretary-General regrets the decision of the South African Government to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

He recalls the significant role played by South Africa in the establishment of the International Criminal Court, including as one of the first signatories of the Rome Statute. He hopes South Africa will reconsider its decision before its withdrawal takes effect.

The Secretary-General believes that the International Criminal Court is central to global efforts to end impunity and prevent conflict.

He is confident that Member States will continue to further strengthen the Court, thus helping deter future atrocities across the globe. He also hopes that States that may have concerns regarding the functioning of the Court seek to resolve these matters in the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute.

The Rainbow Nation stunned the world when it followed through its threat to leave the ICC.

The main point of contention for South Africa, and many other African countries, has been the perceived bias of the Court which has made Africa the center of its work.

Burundi and Kenya have also been critical of the ICC.

To date, all the ICC investigations are located on the African continent and all the individuals indicted by the Court are Africans.