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Almost 100 Countries Sign Up To Int Criminal Court


Number of Countries Supporting the ICC Nears 100

Eighty-Seventh Ratification Received on Human Rights Day

(New York) - Support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) is continuing to grow despite ongoing US opposition, with six countries joining the ICC's Assembly of States Parties (ASP) since this past November. Barbados became the 87th State Party to the ICC when it deposited its instrument of ratification at the UN Treaty Office on Human Rights Day, yesterday. This followed the recent ratifications by St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Malta, Zambia, the Republic of Korea and Dijibouti.

"It is significant that more than half of the countries in the Americas and the Caribbean have completed ratification of the Rome Statute. The courage of many small states to proceed with ratification in the face of US opposition is a victory for justice, democracy and rule of law," said William Pace, Convenor of the global NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court. "Thirty-five countries have ratified the ICC treaty since the US began its campaign against the ICC last February," he added.

Efforts to establish the Court are well underway, with the recent closing of the nomination period for judges culminating in 45 candidates, ten of whom are women, from all regions of the world. The election of the first 18 judges and prosecutor will take place during the first resumed session of the ASP meeting from February 3 - 7, 2002. The ICC will then be inaugurated in a special ceremony in The Hague, the Netherlands, on March 11, 2003.

A letter from Ambassador Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein, President of the ASP, posted to the UN web site announced that no nominations for ICC prosecutor were received by the deadline of December 8, 2002, and that the nomination period has been closed. In the letter, the President stated, "the Bureau perceives this development as an indication of the continuing interest of States Parties to consult informally first on suitable candidates in order to ensure that any nominations for this post command the support of as many interested States Parties as possible." It is expected that the ASP will discuss the matter further during its February meeting and possibly re-open the nomination period at that time.

# # #

The letter from the President of the ASP is online at http://www.un.org/law/icc/elections/prosecutor/prosecutor_nominations.htm.

About the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court The NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (Coalition) is a network of over 1,000 civil society organizations and legal associations working to support a permanent, fair and independent International Criminal Court. Established in 1995, the Coalition is the leading source of information regarding the ICC and the international movement to support its formation. For more information, please visit http://www.iccnow.org. --

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