Malaysia can send strong signal to global community with Rome Statute move


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia would send a "strong signal" to the international community if it were to deposit its instrument of accession and confirm the 2011 Cabinet decision to join the Rome Statute.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said, such an action would show that all countries worldwide are united in their efforts "against impunity for mass-atrocity crimes".

Nazri, who is also the Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) Chairman, said this in a statement issued today in conjunction with the courtesy call by the International Criminal Court (ICC) President Justice Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi.

"How can there be peace if authors of mass-atrocities can commit the most serious crimes with impunity and without restraint?

"The ICC exercises jurisdiction over territories or nationals of States that accept to be bound by the Rome Statute: This did not happen with Syria and Iraq and the mass-atrocities of ISIS and other actors are occurring in total impunity-zone.

"Similarly, Myanmar did not ratify the Roman Statute, and the Rohingya population is being targeted by widespread or systematic attacks that might be qualified as crimes against humanity but the ICC cannot exercise its jurisdiction," he said.

The Rome Statute of the ICC is the treaty that established the ICC which was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on July 17, 1998 and entered into force on July 1, 2002.

The primary reason for the setting up of the ICC as a permanent tribunal is to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crime of aggression.