Ratification of Rome Statute to make war crimes trial credible | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 25, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 25, 2010

Ratification of Rome Statute to make war crimes trial credible

Foreign secretary tells UNGA president

Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes said that the ratification of the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court (ICC) will provide more credibility in the trial process of war criminals.
He made the remark during his meeting with UNGA President Ambassador Christian Wenaweser in New York Tuesday, a release from Bangladesh UN mission in New York said.
The foreign secretary said he personally came to convey the government's important political decision that Bangladesh ratified the “Rome Statute”, which was also conveyed to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
He recalled the blood-ravaged independence war of Bangladesh in 1971 and the return of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in early January 1972, who could not move forward with the judicial proceedings against the war-criminals.
Quayes said the present government is determined to finish this process, for which the parliament has given a unanimous mandate last year.
Although the ratification will not provide any scope for retroactive effect of the Rome Statute for 1971 war crimes, however, this historic ratification will provide greater credibility to the ongoing efforts for trial of the war criminals in Bangladesh, he added.
Ambassador Wenaweser thanked the foreign secretary for such a bold initiative taken by the Bangladesh government. He was particularly moved by the fundamental rationale behind the ratification process to become more credible in the trial process for war crimes committed almost 40 years before that this will send a very strong political message in South Asia and elsewhere.
Through this ratification process, Bangladesh became the 111th State to be the Party to the Rome Statute, he said.
Although Bangladesh will not be able to have the retroactive effect of this ratification process for war crimes committed in 1971, it would be very much possible that the Court to offer technical support to Bangladesh in conducting its business in the upcoming trial process by providing staffs, including quality judges, Wenaweser mentioned.
The foreign secretary thanked the UNGA president and looked forward to participating in the upcoming Review Conference with the strongest possible delegation.
Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN Dr Abdul Momen was also present during the meeting.
Later, the foreign secretary officially announced at the eighth session of the Assembly of the States Parties to the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court, now taking place at the UN Headquarters, the ratification of the same by Bangladesh government.

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