Meeting at UN, International Criminal Court assembly elects budget committee

Meeting at UN, International Criminal Court assembly elects budget committee

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Countries meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York to finalize the formation of the world's first permanent war crimes court have elected 10 members to a committee that will oversee the financial, budgetary and administrative operations of the newly established International Criminal Court (ICC).

The move yesterday afternoon by the tribunal's Assembly of States Parties to elect the members of its Budget and Finance Committee followed the unanimous election earlier in the day of Luis Moreno Ocampo, an Argentine litigator famed for his role in the trials of his country's former ruling military junta, as ICC Prosecutor.

The Court was inaugurated on 11 March in The Hague with the election of its 18 judges. It will have jurisdiction over the most serious breaches of international law – trying individuals rather than states, and holding them accountable for war crimes, including, genocide, mass murder, enslavement, rape, torture, and, once defined, the crime of aggression.

The Rome Statute – the treaty establishing the ICC – entered into force 1 July 2002, and the Court's jurisdiction will cover only crimes committed after that date. The Statute has thus far been ratified by 89 countries and signed by 139.

The 10 Committee members elected yesterday are: Fawzi Gharaibeh of Jordan; Myung-jae Hahn of the Republic of Korea; Eduardo Gallardo Aparicio of Bolivia; Santiago Wins Arnabal of Uruguay and David Dutton of Australia. Also chosen were Peter Lovell of the United Kingdom; Karl Paschke of Germany; Michel-Etienne Tilemans of Belgium; Lambert Dah Kindji of Benin and John F.S. Muwanga of Uganda.

The Assembly decided to defer the election of the two remaining members from the Eastern European Group, as that Group had not yet submitted candidates to fill the two seats allotted to it.