Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Andries Nel, delivers statement on behalf of South Africa on the International Criminal Court in the Hague
15 Nov 2012
Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Andries Nel, today commended the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Ms Fatou Bensouda, for the steps she has taken to strengthen relationships with the African continent.
“We welcome the Prosecutor’s commitment to strengthen the Court’s relationship with the African continent. We note that she has devoted a considerable amount of time on the continent since her appointment.”
He also welcomed the emphasis she has placed on the victims of crimes, especially the most vulnerable.
“We were especially heartened to hear her speak, also on a recent occasion in South Africa, of her great commitment to the victims of crimes and the protection of their interests. We specially welcome her initiative to appoint a special gender adviser in her office in order to pursue gender crimes and crimes against children. This focus on the protection of the most vulnterable should be supported.”
Nel was speaking on behalf South Africa during the general debate at the 11th session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court being held in the Hague.
The meeting coincides with the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Rome Statute which established the International Criminal Court.
“The establishment of the Court was a vital contribution to the international peace and security architecture, premised on an understanding of the reciprocal relationship between peace and justice”, he said.
Nel said that South Africa called upon states to adopt a budget that will give the court the necessary resources to do its work.
“We trust that States Parties will demonstrate wisdom and foresight and reach agreement on a budget that will give the the Court the necessary resources to continue discharging its vitally important mandate effectively, efficiently and independently.”
He said that South Africa believed that the United Nations should fund those matters that are referred to the court by the Security Council.
“In order for the Court to implement its mandate in support of the maintenance of international peace and security, it is necessary to explore the possibility of United Nations funding for situations referred to the Court by the Security Council.”
He expressed South Africa’s view that reform of the UN Security Council was necessary to establish a correct relationship between Court and the Security Council.
“We must as States Parties continue to engage the important matter of the relationship between the ICC and the Security Council. We are convinced that as long as the structure of the Security Council remains unrepresentative and undemocratic, its decisions will impact negatively on the ICC. States Parties, individually and collectively, thus have the responsibility to support UN processes for early reform of the Security Council.”
He congratulated the Court for issuing its first judgment earlier this year in the Lubanga Dyilo case.
“We are particularly pleased that the Court issued its first judgment in the Lubanga Dyilo case. We have also noted that the trial in the Katanga and Chui case has been completed and we await the judgment of the Court. We congratulate the Court and its staff for the clear progress being made in implementing its mandate.”
Of the eight situations being dealt with by the court, four (DRC, Central African Republic, Uganda, Mali) were referred by states themselves, two (Kenya and Cote d'Ivoire) were initiated by the prosecutor and two (Darfur and Libya) were referred by the UN Security Council.
South Africa has consistently supported the ICC and was one of the first countries to incorporate the Rome Statute into its domestic legislation.
For further information contact:
Dr Dire Tladi
Cell: +1 917 442 8069
Issued by: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
15 Nov 2012
[ Top ]