Friday, October 28

UN says withdrawal of countries from ICC sends `wrong message`

UN says withdrawal of countries from ICC sends `wrong message`

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, says the announcement by three African countries of their intent to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) sends a ‘wrong message’ to the world.

Ki-moon was quoted as saying this in a message twitted by the United Nations radio in its official twitter account @UN-Radion on Friday.

Ki-moon in a message twitted by the United Nations radio was quoted as saying this in a meeting at UN Security Council Chamber on Friday.

The UN chief said that pulling out of the court undermined the commitment to justice on the part of South Africa, Gambia, and Burundi.

Ki-moon said that the world had made “enormous strides” in the international justice system, with the ICC as its centrepiece, which had secured “ground-breaking convictions.”

He acknowledged that not all countries accepted its jurisdiction, and that, so far, only Africans had been convicted, in spite of evidence of crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity elsewhere.

“But withdrawal by the three countries would be a mistake.

“I regret these steps, which could send a wrong message on these countries commitment to justice.

“These challenges are best addressed not by diminishing support for the court, but by strengthening it from within,” he said.

 Ban added that deterring genocide and defending the rules of war, were too important to “risk a retreat from the age of accountability” that leaving the court, would signify.


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