ADHOC

CAMBODIA HUMAN RIGHTS AND 
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION


 

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STATEMENT TO THE PRESS
1 June 2001
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

CAMBODIA COMMITS TO BE ASEAN'S FIRST COUNTRY TO RATIFY THE STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT 

            Samdech  Hun Sen gave Cambodia's commitment to be the first ASEAN country to ratify the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court during a meeting with representatives of Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and regional human rights groups led by the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) based in Thailand and the Asian Network for the International Criminal Court (ANICC) based in Bangladesh. 

            Samdech Hun Sen recalled Cambodia's history, saying that its people had been unfortunate victims of all crimes covered by the ICC namely of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes which gives Cambodia all the reasons to support the ratification of the Rome Statute. He pledged to submit his proposal for immediate ratification to the Parliament which is the body responsible to ratify international treaties in Cambodia before he leaves for the CG Meeting in Tokyo scheduled on June 11-13, 2001. He pledged further to encourage the other countries in the region to likewise ratify soon. So far, only three out of 10 ASEAN members have signed. None has ratified. 

            The meeting highlighted the significance of Cambodia's immediate ratification, as it will allow its active participation in the discourse on still unresolved provisions particularly the definition of the crime of aggression and the role of the Security Council. These issues are still being worked out by the UN Preparatory Commission on the ICC  which convenes its sessions in New York.

Samdech Hun Sen expressed concern on the selection of judges and hopes that the Rome Statute will put in place a fair, just and independent body for international justice which was lacking in the past. He said Cambodia will benefit the most because of its incomparable experience of genocide in recent years. 

            The meeting concluded by citing the gains of the ICC process since its adoption in July 1998 in Rome, specifically in advancing gender issues and in the role that NGOs play in the campaign to end impunity and create better awareness of human rights in Cambodia, the region and the world.             

The meeting took place after a two-day national seminar on the ICC held in Phnom Penh organized by ADHOC, a local human rights group. It was attended by representatives of the diplomatic community, civil society organizations including media, lawyers, academics, youth associations, members of the Senate and National Assembly and government ministries. The closing remarks was given by H.E. Nhek Bun Chhay, Second Vice-President of the Senate who likewise committed to support the ratification of the Rome Statute of the ICC by Cambodia. The list of recommendations of the seminar was presented by Thun Saray, president of ADHOC on behalf of the delegation to Samdech Hun Sen. 

For further information, call up ADHOC, tel. (855-23) 218653, fax no. 217229; e-mail: adhoc@forum.org.kh; FORUM-ASIA tel. (66 2) 2769846-7, fax no. 6934939; ANICC tel. (88 02) 8315851, fax 8318561; e-mail anicc@iccnow.org.