Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The International Criminal Court today welcomed Grenada as a new State party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the tribunal, three months after the Caribbean nation deposited its instrument of accession to the accord, becoming the 115th signatory.
The statute took effect in Grenada on 1 August, the ICC said in a statement issued after the President of the Court, Sang-Hyun Song, presented the ambassador of Grenada, Stephen Fletcher, with a special edition of the Rome Statute in The Hague, where the court is based.
“Each State that joins the ICC sends out a powerful message that it does not tolerate genocide, crimes against humanity or the other atrocious offences listed in the Statute, and it will not provide refuge to those suspected of such crimes,” said Mr. Song.
The Vice-President of the Assembly of States Parties and Ambassador of Mexico, Jorge Lomónaco, placed the occasion in Grenada’s historical context.
“After 300 years as a colony, an overthrow of the government, an invasion in the mid-’80s and a full restoration of democracy to follow, Grenada has come out as a strong and independent State of the Caribbean Community.” That community, he added, is strongly committed to “combating impunity and bringing justice to victims.”
Established by the Rome Statute of 1998, the ICC can try cases involving individuals charged with war crimes committed since July 2002. The Security Council, the ICC Prosecutor or a State Party to the court can initiate any proceedings, and the ICC only acts when countries themselves are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute.
(UN Press Release)