NHC urges Kazakhstan to join the International Criminal Court (ICC)
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), a global network of more than 2500 organizations including the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, urges Kazakhstan to accede to the ICC Rome Statute. - Central Asia is significantly underrepresented at the Court; only Tajikistan is a state party, said William R. Pace, Convenor of the CICC in a letter addressed to H.E. President Nursultan Nazarbayev. - When Kazakhstan joins the international justice system established by the Rome Statute and represented by the ICC, it will give the region a greater voice in the global fight to end impunity, and it will be an important step forward nationally toward greater commitment to justice and accountability, he highlighted.
- It is regrettable that the Kazakhstani government’s response at the 7th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review in February 2010 indicated that the Republic of Kazakhstan rejected the recommendation to accede to the Rome Statute, said Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC). - We hope that the Kazakhstani authorities will realize the ICC’s potential as an instrument to protect victims of serious human rights abuses in the world, and that they will seize the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Statute to move forward with the process in 2012, he continued.
The CICC has chosen Kazakhstan as one of the focus countries for its April 2012 Universal Ratification Campaign, a monthly campaign to encourage countries to join the ICC Rome Statute. To date 121 states worldwide have jointed the ICC, including all EU member states and Norway. Among former Soviet countries, only the Baltic countries, Georgia, Moldova and Tajikistan have joined.
As a state party, Kazakhstan would assume a role in advancing human rights, accountability, justice and an end to impunity for grave crimes.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is cooperating with the CICC on initiatives to strengthen civil society activities and networks in Central Asia on the ICC and international justice.