Human rights groups urge Nepal to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Amnesty International and the ICJ today urged the interim Government of Nepal to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Nepal now has the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the new system of international justice and to lead the fight against the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Ratification of the Rome Statute would give Nepal an important role as a state party since it would then be able to participate in the ICC’s oversight and governing body (the Assembly of States Parties) and to nominate candidates for judges of the ICC.
“By joining over 100 other countries in all regions of the world that have ratified the Rome Statute, Nepal would signal that it believes justice and accountability for the worst human rights violations are central to the rule of law and a stable, just system of governance”, said Christopher Keith Hall, Senior Legal Advisor, International Justice Project Amnesty International.
On 25 July 2006 the newly reformed House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution calling upon the Government to accede to the Rome Statute.
“Acceding to the Rome Statute is an opportunity for the interim Government to demonstrate its commitment made in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in November 2006 to establish the rule of law in Nepal”, said Susan Appleyard of the ICJ’s Asia-Pacific Programme.
The Rome Statute was open for signature in July 1998 and came into force in July 2002 after ratification by 60 states.
The International Criminal Court has a mandate to try individuals for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, when a national court is unable or unwilling to do so itself.
104 countries have so far ratified the treaty, including Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, Australia, Afghanistan, New Zealand, Colombia, Argentina, Cambodia, Mongolia, Timor Leste, South Africa and the Republic of Korea.
It is particularly important that Asian states ratify or accede to the Rome Statute, so that Asia can play a leading role in the struggle for international justice.
Amnesty International and the ICJ support the week]long campaign of Nepali civil society urging the interim Government to accede immediately to the Rome Statute.
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