Posted by Mariana on 23 Jan 2013 | Comments
New York, US - The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (ICC) has called on Togo to demonstrate its commitment to international justice and the fight against impunity for grave crimes by acceding to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In a statement made available to PANA in New York Wednesday, the Coalition said it chose Togo as the focus of its January 2013 Universal Ratification Campaign (URC), a monthly campaign to encourage countries to join the Rome Statute.
The Statute is the founding treaty of the first permanent international court which tries perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
‘Togo is the only West African country that never signed the Rome Statute,” the letter quoted Francis Dako, the Coalition’s Africa regional coordinator, to have said.
‘We therefore urge the government to summon the necessary political will and take the historic step of joining the majority of the world’s nations that have ratified the Rome Statute,’’ he noted.
It also said Togo’s accession to the treaty would strengthen the African voice at the court, as well as provide a reminder to the international community and the people of Togo that the
government is committed to justice.
The Coalition, however, commended Togo’s participation as an observer at the ICC’s Assembly of States Parties (ASP) meetings, saying: ‘Togo’s commitment to attending these sessions
illustrates their commitment to the process of international justice.’’
Central to the ICC’s mandate is the principle of complementarity, which holds that the Court will only intervene if national legal systems are unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute
perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
There are currently eight investigations before the Court, namely the Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur, the Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Libya
The ICC has publicly issued 22 arrest warrants and nine summonses to appear before the Court.
The Court issued a judgment in its first trial on 14 March 2012, while two other trials are ongoing.
PANA reports that, so far, 121 states worldwide have joined the Rome Statute.