STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. JUN YAMAZAKI
AMBASSADOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF JAPAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON AGENDA ITEM 75:
REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
26 OCTOBER 2011
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Mr. President of the International Criminal Court,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank President Sang-Hyun Song for his in-depth report on the most recent work of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Japan attaches great importance to the rule of law in the international community. In this regard, we have been actively assisting the work of the ICC, the only permanent international criminal court contributing to the maintenance of international peace and security through the punishment of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole.
Our basic stance on the Court can be expressed in the following:
c) Universality, and
Among those words, it can be said that the future of the ICC depends most upon whether we can universalize the Court. As the number of the States Parties to the Rome Statute increases, safe heavens for perpetrators will be reduced and preventive effects should be enhanced.
To encourage more States to become members of the ICC, the Court should produce a solid record of performance by both effectively implementing its activities and efficiently managing the conduct of its work. And in order to realize effectiveness and efficiency, it is important for us to bear in mind that we should not put excessive burdens on the Court, but rather develop it in a systematically sustainable way.
As this year’s report by the Court mentions, five new States acceded to or ratified the Rome Statute during the reporting period. The Government of Japan would like to welcome those new members and is looking forward to working with them. Besides those five States, the Asia-Pacific Group has witnessed two States becoming new members of the ICC this year. The Government of Japan would like to extend our warm welcome to the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Maldives. Although these two States bring the number of the States Parties in the Asia-Pacific Group to 17, we would like to continue encouraging especially the Asia-Pacific States which have not yet done so to accede or ratify the Statute and join the circle to end impunity.
Let me touch upon the issue of cooperation.
The experience of the ICC, although relatively short, has reaffirmed the importance of cooperation among various stakeholders. There is no doubt that cooperation by States is indispensable for the effective and efficient implementation of the Rome Statute including the arrest and surrender of suspects and the collection of evidence. In those cases where full cooperation has been extended by the States concerned, the ICC is making steady progress. Where such cooperation has not been forthcoming, the ICC faces serious challenges. Close cooperation among the Court, States Parties and civil society is also essential for the further development of the Court. In addition, cooperation between the Court and the United Nations, including the Security Council, is becoming more important especially as we have witnessed the second referral by the Security Council to the Court this year. The Government of Japan is willing to actively and constructively participate in the discussion on the way forward to further strengthen cooperation.
Japan sincerely hopes that the points it has raised today will be given serious consideration by the ICC, the States Parties, other States and civil society.
In closing, let me express the sincere appreciation of Japan for the work that the ICC has accomplished to date. It is our hope that the ICC will continue to work diligently in the fight against impunity and to consolidate its credibility and reputation. In this regard, Japan is determined to continue and strengthen its contribution to the ICC and thus to the establishment of the rule of law throughout the international community.