Celebrating the Ninth Anniversary of the Adoption of the Rome Statute
On July 17th of this year, the International Criminal Court (hereinafter, "the Court") will celebrate its ninth anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute that established the Court. Within one century mankind has experienced twice the scourges of global war. Abolition of war is therefore just another historical goal that we must face on, just like how we eliminated slavery. Along with the Kellog-Briand Pact of 1928, the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Tokyo Tribunal of 1945 that criminalized the perpetrators of crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes were both significant steps toward this end. The ultimate step, of course, was taken in 1998 at the Rome Conference. The Rome Statute adopted in this Conference ensured that no individual perpetrator of genocide、crimes against humanity or war crimes will enjoy the culture of impunity anymore.
Until today, the day the Rome Statute was adopted had been remembered as International Justice Day, or the World Day of International Justice. This day will have an added meaning this year, because Japan is joining the family of Court's supporters as the 105th state party to the treaty.
While being the third largest military spender in the world, Japan has renounced war and declared non-retention of war potential in its Constitution. Through its powerful economy and graceful culture of benevolence, our nation has contributed to the world in various ways. From this day on, as a formal member of the Court, Japan shall further its efforts en masse to pursue the establishment of international peace based on fairness and justice. The level of Japan's commitment is apparent both financially and in its HR contribution; in its decision to provide total sum of USD 6 million as its first year contribution as well as its recent appointment of a nominee for the by-election of the Court's judge openings in the upcoming Assembly of States Parties conference in December.
We sincerely hope that Japan will stand in the forefront of this great endeavor to transform the "culture of impunity" into a "culture of responsibility" for all gravest international crimes committed, and to lead and persuade the more reluctant Asian countries to promote the universal ratification of the Rome Statute.
As the one and only country that have suffered the devastation of a full-fledged nuclear attack, Japan has a long record of being a consistent pursuer of total abolition of nuclear arms. We believe it is time that our country revamp our efforts to play an even more active role in the promotion of peace and human rights in the world.
July 17, 2007
Osamu Niikura, Mitsunori Ueki
Japanese Network for the ICC (JNICC)
World Federalist Movement of Japan (WFMJ)
|MITSUNORI UEKI, Co-representative
President, World Federalist Movement of Japan
OSAMU NIIKURA, Co-representative
President, Japanese Lawyers International Solidarity Association (JALISA)