ICC: African Union Member States should reaffirm their commitment to justice and their support to the ICC

28 Jun, 2009 | Press Releases

At the Annual African Union Summit, hosted this week in Syrte, Libya, Foreign Affairs Ministers and Heads of State are scheduled to discuss their position on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and international criminal justice. All AU Member States should reaffirm their commitment to the fight against impunity by providing the ICC with all the support and cooperation it needs to fulfil its mandate.

Statement by Sergio Stanzani and Niccoló Figa-Talamanca, President and Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty urge African leaders to reaffirm their staunch support to the fight against impunity, by building on the consensus reached by African ICC States Parties at a meeting convened by the AU in Addis Ababa, on 8-9 June 2009, where they reiterated their commitment to the integrity of the Rome Statute, as a means to put an end to impunity for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.

Africa is the most heavily represented regional group in the membership of the Rome Statute, with 30 States Parties. African States were a driving force and have played a crucial role in the process towards the establishment of the ICC and have been the most active in voluntarily referring cases to the Court.

African Union member States, whose commitment to accountability is enshrined in its Constitutive Act, should not heed the call of those condoning impunity but should look to the ICC as an important and useful partner in upholding the rule of law and protecting human rights and strengthening its cooperation with the court.

History demonstrates that impunity for serious crimes only encourages the perpetrators to repeat such crimes. NPWJ and NRPPT call on all AU Member States to provide the ICC with all the support and cooperation it needs to fulfil its investigative and prosecutorial mandate, in ensuring the holding of perpetrators of the worst crimes under international law to account. African States should clearly demonstrate that they stand on the side of their victims and on the side of justice.

For further information, contact Alison Smith at asmith@npwj.org or +32-486-986 235 or Nicola Giovannini at ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32-2-548-3913.

No Peace Without Justice is an international non-profit organisation that works for the protection and promotion of human rights, democracy, the rule of law and international justice.