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Advance Of Justice Pre-Eminent Legacy Of Annan

Advance of international justice pre-eminent legacy of Annan - Ban Ki-moon

24 March 2008 - Honouring Kofi Annan at the conferral of a new MacArthur Award, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says that the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the acceptance of the principle of the responsibility to protect stood out as the culmination of his predecessor's tenure.

"In his decade at the helm, he stood particularly tall for his contributions to international justice - fighting to end impunity, to advance the rule of law, to protect the weak and vulnerable," Mr. Ban said as Mr. Annan was accorded the inaugural International Justice Award by the MacArthur Foundation at a dinner last Thursday night.

One hundred and six countries have ratified the Rome Statute that sets up the ICC, the independent, permanent court that tries people accused of the most serious crimes, such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Late last year Judge Philippe Kirsch, the ICC President, called for those countries that have not yet ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute to do so, saying the court, based in The Hague in the Netherlands, was already deterring crimes and improving the chances for sustainable peace in some countries.

The responsibility to protect is a doctrine that holds States responsible for shielding their own populations from genocide and other major human rights abuses and requires the international community to step in if this obligation is not met.

ENDS

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