Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks at the Inauguration Ceremony for the Trust Fund for Victims, 2004 @ICC-CPI

The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) announces with great sadness the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former member of the first Board of Directors, on Sunday, 26 December 2021.

We mourn with deep regret the departure of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as we stay behind in shock from the loss of his bravery, engagement and inspiring leadership.

A Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Archbishop Tutu was elected to the first TFV Board of directors on 12 September 2003 and remained a member until 2009.

The TFV Chair of the Board of Directors Minou Tavárez Mirabal praised the legacy and moral leadership of the Archbishop: “On behalf of the TFV Board, we recall Archbishop Tutu’s uncompromising passion for justice, peace and reconciliation.  His steadfast commitment and engagement with the TFV in the fight for the rights of victims of the most heinous crimes under the Rome Statute was a true testament of his faith and actions towards ending oppression, intolerance and injustice, as well as advocating and creating a better, more peaceful and more just place for the most vulnerable wherever they are in the world. We are extremely grateful for his influence and guidance aimed at strengthening the impact of the TFV and the important role it plays in making reparative justice a reality for survivors.”

Vice Chair Ibrahim Sorie Yillah joined in bereavement, “I convey my heartfelt condolences to Archbishop Tutu’s family. As a newly elected member of the TFV Board representing African States Parties, I hope to continue  the Archbishop’s journey and honor his memory and the immeasurable example he set for the international community and the world in his rooted devotion to the cause of justice and human rights and his fight for victims and survivors, starting with his beloved country, South Africa and extending to the rest of the world.”

Mourning the passing of Archbishop Tutu, TFV Executive Director Pieter de Baan said: “A brave voice for justice at home and globally, Archbishop Tutu was a beacon of perseverance, and empathy for those suffering harm from crimes and injustice. As a member of our first Board of Directors, Archbishop Tutu charted the first course, and set the tone, for the Trust Fund for Victims’ unique, innovative, and victim-centered mandate of reparative justice.

As a member of the TFV Board of Directors, Desmond Tutu has stated: “We want to recognize those who over the several years have been the faceless ones, the anonymous ones, the ones who have been side-passed, and so in that process, help to heal trauma, help to heal wounded communities, help to make whole what was broken.”

Desmond Tutu was a prominent human rights leader and activist who championed for justice and peace throughout his life. Among the many awards he received, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on 16 October 1984 for his "role as a unifying leader figure in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa", as cited by the Nobel Committee.

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