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ICC Review Conference: Sierra Leone adopts Kampala declaration

By  | 8 June 2010 at 03:35 | 791 views

The ICC Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda, has concluded its general debate by reiterating their commitment to the ICC mission of fighting against impunity, bringing justice to victims and deterring future atrocities.

According to a recent press release, Sierra Leone is among a total of 84 States (67 States parties and 17 observers), along with Palestine, international organizations and NGOs that took the floor in affirming their position on the Rome statute.

The press release further stated that regarding the stocktaking of international criminal justice, a number of states emphasized the need for cooperation for the effectiveness of the ICC, the role of victims as the main stakeholders of the ICC system and mutually reinforcing the relationship between peace and justice efforts.

According to the press statement, the importance of complementarity was highlighted and measures on strengthening national jurisdictions to prosecute international crimes were welcomed. There was also a general call for universal ratification of the Rome Statute.

As regards the inclusion of the crime of aggression in the Court’s jurisdiction, the statement further revealed that many states considered it essential that an amendment to the Statute be adopted at the Review Conference.

The Sierra Leone delegation led by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Co-operation, Hon. Vandi Chidi Minah(photo) participated in the pledging ceremony where the co-focal points for pledges, Mr. Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Minister of Justice of the Netherlands, and Mr. Gonzalo Gutiérrez, Permanent Representative of Peru to the UN, announced that they had received 112 pledges from 37 states and regional organizations, representing all regions of the world. These pledges cover: financial contributions, enforcement of sentences agreements, agreements on privileges and immunities, relocation of witnesses, cooperation with the Court and between States in various forms, complementarity, outreach and the designation of focal points.

The Conference, according to the press release, also adopted the Kampala Declaration which deals mainly with the reaffirmation of the commitment of states to the Rome Statute and its full implementation, as well as its universality and integrity.

Sierra Leone, among other state parties, reiterated its determination to put an end to impunity for perpetrators of the most serious crimes of international concern and emphasized that justice is a fundamental building block of sustainable peace. The delegates from Sierra Leone also declared their country’s readiness to continue to strengthen their efforts to promote victims’ rights under the Statute.

The states present also decided to celebrate 17th July, the day of the adoption of the Rome Statute in 1998, as the Day of International Criminal Justice.