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South Africa: SA Committed to Rule of Law
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Focus: Public Institutions
Country: South Africa
Created: Apr 18, 2013

He was speaking at the workshop on the Ratification and Implementation of the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which focuses on the crime of aggression, in Botswana today.

The meeting is the first of African signatories to the Rome Stature on the continent.
The deputy minister used the opportunity to reiterate the need to transform the UN and its institutions.

“We have argued that it is the lack of transformation of these institutions, the UN Security Council in particular, as well as less than judicious pronouncements in the past by certain officials linked to the Court that are responsible for the, in our view incorrect, perceptions regarding the relationship between the ICC and the African continent.”

Nel told the meeting that South Africa supported the amendments to the Rome Statute agreed to at the Review Conference in Kampala in 2010, including those relating to the crime of aggression.

He said South Africa did so based on the conviction expressed in the Freedom Charter adopted by the people of South Africa in 1955 at the Congress of the People, that

“There Shall be Peace and Friendship!” and accordingly, that “South Africa shall be a fully independent state which respects the rights and sovereignty of all nations and that South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation - not war.”

In this light, he said the Handbook on Ratification and Implementation of the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute of the ICC serve as a good basis for discussion during the workshop.

The Handbook raises a number of questions, such as why ratify, when to ratify, and ratifying and implementing simultaneously. It also talks to technical issues regarding the understanding of the Resolution RC/Res 6 on the Crime of Aggression and Resolution RC/ Res 5 on War Crimes and domestication of these crimes.

Nel said these are indeed important and complex issues that require both political and technical attention.
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