Seychelles supports cooperation with the International Criminal Court
“Seychelles supports the Court, and welcomes the opportunity for dialogue on the ways and means to strengthen the relationship between the Court and its States Parties, as it is only with frank and open engagements, that we – as a region and a global community – can hope to move forward in the promotion and protection of human rights, and the ending of impunity for atrocious crimes.”
These were remarks made in Gaborone, Botswana, by Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Barry Faure, on 29th October, the first day of a High Level Seminar for Fostering Cooperation between the International Criminal Court (ICC) and States Parties to the Rome Statute. Ambassador Faure was representing Foreign Minister Joël Morgan at the event organised by the ICC, the Government of Botswana, and a number of cooperating partners like The Netherlands, Norway and the European Commission.
The two-day Seminar had a two-fold aim; firstly, to develop the understanding of the mutual benefits of closer cooperation, as well as the legal and political issues that States and the ICC are faced with; and secondly, to have a fruitful exchange of experiences and knowledge among States, in order to facilitate professional connections and the networking of prominent experts, to facilitate national capacity building and regional capabilities in these various areas of cooperation.
Seychelles signed the Rome Statute that governs the ICC in 2000, ratified it in 2010, and is working on the domestication of the Statute in our national legislation. Also participating in the conference were two other officials from Seychelles, Gayethri Pillay, Second Secretary from the Treaties Section of Foreign Affairs, and Tania Potter, Prosecutor, Attorney General’s Chambers.
High level officials and Government representatives from eleven other countries in the Southern African region – Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia – were in attendance to engage in the constructive dialogue with the ICC. The Seminar is part of a series of regional high level seminars organised by the ICC for fostering cooperation, and similar events were held in Argentina, Ghana, Benin and Costa Rica.
ICC Judge Sanji Monageng (Botswana) and ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda (The Gambia), both made inaugural speeches at the event, which was opened by Botswana’s Foreign Minister, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, and presided by Botswana’s Minister for Defence, Justice and Security, Shaw Kgathi.