On 12 october 2010, the Republic of Moldova formally deposited the “Instrument of Ratification” of the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court ICC), to UN Secretary General’s office. Moldova’s ratification brings the total number of States Parties to the Court to 114 and is an important step towards universal support for ending impunity, particularly in Eastern Europe which is notably underrepresented at the ICC.

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty congratulate Moldova for this very important step, which concludes a lengthy and complex legislative process and has involved sustained commitment from all levels of Moldova society, from civil society and the media through parliamentarians to government officials.

Moldova’s decision to join as a State Party to the Rome Statute of the ICC, demonstrates its clear commitment to justice and the rule of law as a pre-condition for sustainable peace and marks a further significant step forward in the international community’s efforts to put an end to impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The Rome Statute grants jurisdiction to the ICC only when a country is “unable or unwilling” to investigate and prosecute these crimes.

Under international law, this ratification extends to the totality of the internationally recognised territory of the Republic of Moldova for all Rome Statute crimes, including massive human rights violations that qualify as crimes against humanity, irrespective of whether committed by Moldovan nationals or by foreigners, whether by civilians or by military personnel.

Any such crimes committed in any part of Moldovan territory which is outside the reach of the national authorities, will trigger the automatic jurisdiction of the ICC, in that the national judiciary in Moldova is by definition not able to investigate and prosecute.

“Now that Moldova has ratified the Rome ICC Statute, it must now ensure that it has in place appropriate procedures to enable it to cooperate fully with the ICC and to fulfill its complementarity obligations. We look forward to Moldova taking this next important step as soon as possible, further solidifying its commitment to the victims of these crimes and to justice as an integral part of peace.”

For more information, please contact Alison Smith, Coordinator of NPWJ’s International Criminal Justice Program, on asmith@npwj.org or +32-(0)2-548-3912, or Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32-2-548-39 15