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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Maria Emma Mejia, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations, III Meeting of the New York Working Group of the ICC ASP Bureau

April 10, 2015.

 

I would like to thank you once again, Ambassador Cardi, President of the New York working group of the International Criminal Court Assembly of States Parties, for your leadership, and to you, Judge Fernandez de Gurmendi, for joining us today.

I think that for Colombia is a real honor to count with your presence in the International Criminal Court, and we see you as one of our own in a double capacity: as a Latin American and as a woman. So I think for us it is encouraging because it brings an important perspective that we respect and appreciate.

I believe you mentioned issues of great concern that Colombia shares, based on our commitment with the ICC since it started, as you know, because you've walked same road: we were members of the drafting commission of the Statute, we signed it on December 1998, when it went through the Congress in a difficult battle until we were able to ratify it.

I think you explained very well some aspects such as the possibilities for the Court in the very early years, its relevance later on and of course its sustainability. In that sense, now nobody questions its relevance, as you mentioned yourself, and I am sure everybody sees the possibility of its sustainability in time.

We have to make an effort -and Colombia is committed to help like many others- to increase the membership and to achieve the universality of the ICC.

We have a long road ahead: 70 countries or so are still pending and it won't be and easy path, for we have a very difficult situation with atrocities all around the world right now, which makes the role of the Court to judge them when they happen an even more pressing issue. This is why I am convinced that we have an enormous work ahead to do with you.

Currently, as you all know, my country is in the middle of a peace process, and we will be the first peace process to be signed under and by any State Party of the Rome Statute, as President Santos stated this morning from Panama City in the Summit of the Americas. That will present many challenges for justice; transitional justice, among others. This once again highlights the relevance of the Statute.

Madame President Fernandez,

You can really count with us and we will be working with you.

Hopefully, for the break for coffee, it will be a Colombian coffee that I will be glad to share with you.

I thank you.