International Criminal Court to start functioning early next year, key negotiator says

International Criminal Court to start functioning early next year, key negotiator says

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The International Criminal Court (ICC), which formally came into existence earlier this year, should be able to start functioning in March of 2003, a key negotiator leading preparatory discussions at United Nations Headquarters in New York said today.

The International Criminal Court (ICC), which formally came into existence earlier this year, should be able to start functioning in March of 2003, a key negotiator leading preparatory discussions at United Nations Headquarters in New York said today.

“The ICC is no longer just a court on paper,” said Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, the Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations and President of the First Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The only outstanding issue left unresolved was the procedure for the election of judges, he said, but a working group had produced a consensus text on the matter.

“Many of the required details relating to the financial and administrative architecture of the Court already have been approved, so in essence we are now working on the vision of a permanent International Criminal Court into a tangible reality, and this is great cause for hope for a world aspiring to something better, for celebration,” he said.

While acknowledging that not all countries were ready to join the ICC, he voiced confidence that eventually they would come to appreciate its importance. “The inescapable logic governing the need for such a Court, the justness of its cause is the surest guarantee that one day it will enjoy universal acceptance and the full support of the entire international community.”