A senior official from the International Criminal Court (ICC) briefing journalists at United Nations Headquarters in New York today called on countries to provide greater support for its work.
“The credibility of the Court in the future as well as its capacity to prevent the commission of further crimes depends on a clear and consistent position on the part of States parties manifesting concrete support for execution of the Court’s decisions, public and diplomatic support, and respect for the judicial process,” said ICC Registrar Bruno Cathala.
“We really believe that this cooperation has to increase in the next few months.”
The Registrar welcomed recent backing it has received from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda and voiced hope that it would receive the same cooperation from other countries and international organizations.
He hailed the recent arrest of Germain Katanga, a Congolese militia leader facing charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity and recalled that another suspect from the DRC, Thomas Lubanga, is also in ICC custody.
Mr. Cathala pointed out that the Court has six arrest warrants still outstanding, four in connection with the conflict in Uganda and two relating to the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan. “Everything is ready to try these people; we are just awaiting the arrest of these six people,” he said.
“Compliance with the Court’s order is a legal obligation for States parties,” he emphasized.
“This issue of cooperation is very important. The Court’s contribution to achieving the aims of the Rome Statute depends not only on the activities of the Court itself but also on the extent of international cooperation provided by States and others in particular in the arrest and surrender of persons.”
Adopted at a major diplomatic conference in the Italian capital in 1998, the Rome Statute currently has 105 parties.