Media Release on Statement by Mr Andries Nel, Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, to the Meeting of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court, United Nations Headquarters, New York, 14 December 2011

Mr Andries Nel, Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, on Wednesday, 14 December, delivered a statement on behalf of the South African delegation during the 10th annual meeting of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court in New York.

In his address he emphasized that South Africa is proud to be a State Party to the ICC, committed to the objectives of the Statute and the fight against impunity. Its commitment to honouring its obligations under the Statute has been steadfast and to this end it incorporated the Rome Statute into its domestic law as early as 2002.

Mr Nel noted the role that South Africa, together with Denmark, has played in promoting positive action to strengthen the domestic capacity of States to investigate and prosecute such crimes with a view to ending impunity.

He emphasized that the integrity and impartiality of the Court should be safeguarded particularly in conflict situations such as the one in Libya that was referred to the Court by the UN Security Council. He urged the office of the prosecutor to ensure that crimes committed by whatsoever side of such a conflict are investigated and prosecuted.

He added that in the present environment of financial austerity, the States Parties should be mindful to approve an adequate budget to ensure that the Court can effectively achieve its mandate.

The meeting elected a new Prosecutor as well as six new judges, and will also deliberate on next year’s budget and matters relating to the operation of the Court.

The Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court is being held at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York from 12-21 December 2011.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Pretoria

14 December 2011

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