Pacific Islands Roundtable on Ratification and Implementation of the Rome Statute, Port Vila, 31 May 2019
Regional Cooperation Seminar |
Port Vila | Vanuatu | Asia-Pacific States
On 31 May 2019, the International Criminal Court (ICC) participated in the Pacific Islands Roundtable on the Ratification and Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The event was organized by Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) with the support of the government of Vanuatu, in cooperation with the Republic of Korea and the ICC, and in partnership with the European External Action Service. Representatives from seven Pacific Island States – Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu - participated in the event.
The Asia-Pacific region is the most underrepresented region in the ICC community. This event focused on the importance of ratifying and implementing the Rome Statute and cooperating with the ICC, as well as the relevance of the Rome Statute for the specific challenges faced by small Pacific Island States in the context of the rule of law at the international level.
The roundtable was attended by more than 25 high-level participants, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vanuatu, H.E. Ralph Regenvanu, and the Ministers of Justice of Kiribati and Tonga, H.E. Natan Teewe Brechtefeld and H.E. Vuna Fa'otusia, respectively. The President of the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC, H.E. O-Gon Kwon delivered the keynote address and observed that "if all the countries of the Pacific Islands were to ratify the Rome Statute, including the crime of aggression, they would effectively have one of the most powerful regional peace agreements in the world. That would be a momentous step for global peace and security". The roundtable discussions also benefitted greatly from the participation of civil society representatives and experts, including former ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song.
Several bilateral meetings took place on the sidelines of the roundtable between ASP President Kwon and high-level representatives from states in the region regarding the ratification of the Rome Statute and cooperation with the ICC.
This event took place with the financial support of the European Commission and the Republic of Korea.
The ICC’s High-Level Regional Cooperation Seminars aim to enhance cooperation with the Court by increasing understanding about the ICC’s cooperation regime amongst the invitees; promoting dialogue and efforts towards universality of the Rome Statute; and reinforcing high-level and technical-level contacts and partnerships amongst the Court and key interlocutors. Target audiences include Heads of State, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice, and senior officials in charge of operational issues related to the ICC and/or international judicial assistance in criminal matters.