Monday, May 31, 2010

Review Conference begins with UN Secretaries-General; US suggestions on cooperation

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the presidents of the ICC, its Assembly of States Parties and the host government of Uganda today opened the ICC Review Conference in Kampala. The ICC Prosecutor and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan also participated in the opening high-level segment.

In his opening address, the UN Secretary Ban declared the birth of the "age of accountability," and that peace and justice and complementary and must go hand-in-hand.

The ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, reported on his investigations and stated that LRA leader Joseph Kony must be arrested.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who convened the Rome Conference in 1998 which established the ICC, recalled the ultimate purpose of its creation: to end impunity for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. He called for the conference, taking place in the heart of Africa, to celebrate all that the ICC has achieved. Annan said, “Justice is the partner, not the enemy, of peace.”

[Review Conference speeches are available here.]

Later, at a meeting with NGOs, Ban praised Annan:

The US delegation is one of the largest, between 14 and 20 delegates, representing all stakeholders in the ICC policy process. While the US has not yet made its statement in the general debate, Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Stephen Rapp made some informal remarks at an NGO meeting on the cooperation of countries with the ICC. In particular, he highlighted the ways in which a non-State Party to the ICC could assist the Court, including through political and diplomatic support, sharing of information and witness assistance. He reiterated the US interest in seeing justice done and with cooperating with the current cases before the ICC.

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