NPWJ welcomes Vanuatu as the 120th State to join the ICC

5 Dec, 2011 | Press Releases

On 4 December 2011, the Government of Vanuatu 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 Vanuatu on 1 February 2012. This new accession to the founding treaty of the ICC brings the total number of States Parties to 120.

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 Vanuatu, 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.

“Vanuatu’s accession to the Rome Statute, which brings to 8 out of 16 the number of States parties in the Pacific, is an important step towards universality of the Court jurisdiction in the Pacific region and ensures a more active role of States of this region in the work of the Court and within its Assembly of State Parties. We hope the example of Vanuatu will spur other Pacific countries to promptly ratify the founding treaty of the ICC, strengthening their commitment to justice and the rule of law and ensuring that the Pacific as a whole will not be a safe place for alleged war criminals.”

“To cooperate fully with the Court and fulfil its obligation under the principle of complementarity, Vanuatu needs to adopt appropriate procedures and implementing legislation. Another crucial next step is for Vanuatu to ratify the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the ICC and we urge this new ICC State Party to move forward in this direction with all possible speed. These further steps will cement the commitment of Vanuatu to the victims of crimes under international law, showing the crucial role that this State recognises to accountability and justice and that they are an integral part of peace.”

For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-3915