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Goff welcomes UN decision on Sudan

Hon Phil Goff - Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

6 April 2005

Goff welcomes UN decision on Sudan

Foreign Minister Phil Goff has welcomed the UN Security Council's decision to establish a peacekeeping mission in Sudan, impose sanctions, and refer the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“These decisions are a major step towards justice and peace for the people of Sudan after 21 years of civil war and internal conflict,” Mr Goff said.

“I’m especially pleased the Security Council has referred the Darfur situation to the ICC. New Zealand is a strong supporter of the Court, which was established to confront the perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, who might otherwise act with impunity.

"The ICC offers the best chance that those responsible for committing atrocities in Darfur will face the consequences of their actions. Hopefully its investigation will also act as a deterrent against further offending.

“This is the first time the Security Council has referred a situation to the ICC. Earlier this year, New Zealand joined Canada and Australia in lobbying Security Council members to refer the Darfur situation to the Court. We are heartened they have done so, and call on the Sudanese government and UN member states to cooperate fully with the ICC.

“However, we’re disappointed that the resolution exempts from the Court’s jurisdiction all people participating in Security Council or African Union authorised missions in Sudan who come from states that are not parties to the ICC.

“In New Zealand’s view, this is inconsistent with legal principles and the goal of ensuring accountability for international crimes. We believe it must not be seen as a precedent for future Security Council referrals to the ICC,” said Mr Goff.

ENDS

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