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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 5, 2002
6:27 PM
CONTACT:  Coalition for the International Criminal Court
Adele Waugaman 212.687.2176
Colombia Ratifies the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court In the Midst of a US Offensive Against the Court, Colombia Becomes the 77th to Ratify
 
NEW YORK - August 5 - Colombia today became the seventy-seventh country world-wide and the sixteenth Latin American and Caribbean nation to deposit its ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Colombia's ratification occurs in the closing days of the presidency of Andres Pastrana and in the midst of a strategic US assault designed to undercut the efficacy of the new Court.

"As a country whose recent history is fraught with terrible violence and conflicts between rebel groups, militia and state authorities, Colombia's ratification of the ICC treaty shows its commitment to ensuring justice and accountability for all," said William Pace, Convenor of the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court. "We congratulate Colombia's leaders of Parliament and the Ministries, and especially President Pastrana for leaving this important legacy of peace."

H. E. Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso, who deposited the Rome Statute at today's ceremony, said of Colombia's ratification, "The ratification of this instrument is a very important step for us and demonstrates our commitment to strengthening international law." Reportedly, the Constitutional Court of Colombia held an extraordinary session in order to approve the ratification of the Rome Statute before the current government's term of office concludes on Wednesday, August 7th.

The US offensive against the new Court, the jurisdiction of which began this July 1st, includes the following actions to date this year: the May 6th renunciation of its signature of the Rome Statute, the July 12th adoption of a Security Council resolution granting US peacekeepers immunity from the jurisdiction of the Court for one year, the August 2nd presidential signature and enactment of a bill known as the "Hague Invasion Act" and the procurement of two Article 98 non-cooperation agreements. Article 98 agreements, which are being sought by US ambassadors in capitols around the world, were signed by Romania on August 1st and by Israel today, August 5th.

About the Coalition for the International Criminal Court The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) is a network of over 1,000 civil society organizations that support the creation of a permanent, fair and independent International Criminal Court. Established in 1995, the CICC is the leading source of information regarding the ICC and the regional organizations that support its formation.

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