On July 17, 1998, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was adopted. The Rome Statute creates an international court at The Hague with the authority to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The Rome Statute entered into force on July 1, 2002.
As of October 1, 2004, 139 states had signed the Rome Statute; 97 had ratified or acceded to it. The United States, which signed the Rome Statute on December 31, 2000, stated on May 6, 2001 that it had no intention to seek ratification. Since that time, the United States has negotiated a series of bilateral agreements designed to insure that U.S. citizens will not be surrendered to the ICC.