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The Pacific countries join forces against war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity

14-08-2008 News Release 08/160

Apia (ICRC) - The Pacific countries' commitment to the International Criminal Court (ICC) is the focus of an event organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Samoan Attorney General's office on 14 and 15 August in Samoa.

ICC Judge Tuiloma Neroni Slade, the key-note speaker said that it is difficult to find credible argument against the terrible reminder, as expressed in the Preamble of the Court Statute that " during the 20th century millions of children, women and men have been victims of unimaginable atrocities that deeply shocked the conscience of humanity. The most serious crimes must not go unpunished, and their effective prosecution must be ensured " . Judge Slade stressed that " the Court cannot be effective by itself. The support it currently enjoys needs to be even more widespread and from many more countries, including from our Pacific region. Ten years after the adoption of the Rome Statute for the ICC, the seminar is most timely in drawing attention to the need for the Court and its crucial role in preserving security and guaranteeing justice in the international system. "

The event brings together Ministers and other officials from across the Pacific to examine the best ways to increase knowledge about the ICC and encourage states not yet party to join this important treaty.

" There are obvious situations now in Papua New Guinea that warrant serious consideration of ratifying the Rome Statute of the ICC and then formalize the enabling legal framework " said Dr Allan Marat, PNG's Attorney General and Minister for Justice.

There are now 108 States Parties to this important international treaty, including, in the Pacific region, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand and Australia. 

In its role as guardian and promoter of international humanitarian law, the ICRC supports universal accession to the Rome Statute. It also encourages states to adopt comprehensive legislation to enable them to prosecute international crimes at the national level and cooperate with the Court.

  Available for interview  

Mr Jean-Luc Metzker (in French and English), Head of the ICRC delegation for the Pacific

Ms Nicole Hogg (in English), ICRC Legal Adviser

  For further information, please contact
  Serge Marmy, ICRC Suva, tel : +679 992 11 57
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