NPWJ welcomes Guatemala as 121st ICC State Party

Brussels - Rome - New York, 2 April 2012


 
 
Today, the Government of Guatemala formally deposited its instrument of accession to the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with the Office of the United Nations Secretary General. According to Article 126(2), the Rome Statute will enter into force for Guatemala on 1 June 2012. This new accession to the founding treaty of the ICC brings the total number of States Parties to 121.
 
Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:
 
“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) welcome the accession to the Rome Statute by Guatemala, which shows the commitment of all segments of its society to promote justice and the fight against impunity, in particular for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. We applaud the substantial efforts of civil society, parliamentarians, the Government and the media, whose commitment was crucial to move forward the entire process that led today to the achievement of this result.
 
"Guatemala’s history has been scarred by turmoil and widespread violence that victimised an entire nation during a thirty-six-year civil war, which ended in December 1996. Its decision to stand on the side of victims by ratifying the Rome Statute represents a further guarantee that impunity for systematic human rights abuses should be never again be tolerated.

“Guatemala’s accession to the Rome Statute, which brings to 15 out of 17 the number of States Parties in Latin America, makes an additional step towards universality of the Court jurisdiction in the American region. We hope Guatemala’s actions today will finally spur the other Latin American countries to ratify the founding treaty of the ICC promptly, strengthening their commitment to justice and the rule of law and ensuring that the Americas as a whole will not be a safe place for alleged war criminals.
 
“Now that Guatemala has ratified the ICC Statute, it must ensure that it has in place appropriate procedures to enable it to cooperate fully with the Court and fulfil its obligation under the principle of complementarity. Another crucial next step will be for Guatemala to ratify the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the ICC and implement both instruments in its domestic law. We urge this new ICC State Party to move forward in this direction without delay. These further steps will cement the commitment of Guatemala to the victims of crimes under international law, showing the crucial role that this State recognises for accountability and justice and that they are an integral part of peace.”
 
 
For further information, please contact Alison Smith on asmith@npwj.org or +32-(0)2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32-(0)2-548-3915.