Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Criminal Court Seminat: A triumph of bipartisanship

I gave a media statement on the ICC regional consultation which is fixed for tomorrow.

A country of the Asia-Pacific region which joins the International Criminal Court (ICC) would mean one less haven for dictators seeking refuge from 'crimes against humanity' they may have committed against their people.

This is the thrust of the seminar by the Regional Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Consultation on the Universality of the International Criminal Court which Malaysia will host over the next two days at Parliament House.

Attendees will largely be composed of delegates from Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), the international NGO set up by members of national Parliaments to advance the cause of democracy and freedom.

Out of the 192 nations that are members of the United Nations, 114 have become member-states of the ICC. Malaysia, like the United States, China, India and Russia, appears to be reluctant sign up for fear of diminution of their national sovereignty. "It is hoped that deliberations at the seminar will help shift the Malaysian government's position on signing up."

The seminar is being held with the active collaboration of the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Aziz, Malaysian Members of Parliament and the Parliamentarian For Global Action (PGA)

The Organizing committee of the seminar are YB. Dato' Seri Haji Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz Minister in the Prime Minister Department, Organizing Chairman,  2) YB M.Kula Segaran MP Ipoh Barat- Organizing Secretary 3)YB. Senator  Dato’ Daljit Singh Dalliwal ,4) YB. Datuk Haji  Abdul Rahman Dahlan, MP Kotya Belud, 5)YB. Puan Hajah Nancy binti Haji Shukri MP Batang Sadong,6) YB Chong Eng, 7) YB Fong Po Huan MP Batu Gajah 8) YB Mohd Yusmadi bin Mohd Yusoff

The keynote address will be delivered by Judge Sang-Hyun Song, the Korean jurist who is currently President of the ICC.

Malaysia's attorney general, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, is scheduled to take part in one of the sessions of the Consultation. His opinion on the matter of becoming party to the Rome Statute of the ICC is crucial vis-a-vis the government's decision in this regard.

On my part, it is hoped that  Malaysia will be joining the ICC which was formally established in 2002. Under the statute adopted at a Diplomatic Conference in 1998 (the Rome Statute), individuals bearing the greatest responsibility for crimes of international concern, may be liable to be prosecuted.

Malaysia must join the ICC soon, "If we are to maintain an international image as a law-abiding country , membership of the ICC is essential.

"The ICC and other mechanisms of international law are necessary in this time and age for international opprobrium to act as restraint on the actions of brutal regimes towards their helpless citizenry.

"We hope this Consultation will be another step in the long journey towards ridding our planet of rulers and regimes that behave in an appalling way towards their people,

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