Arusha, July 17, 2012 (FH) -The Coalition for the International Criminal Court has called on governments worldwide to make a firm commitment to ensure international justice a priority.

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According to a statement it issued on Monday, the Coalition for the ICC also requested governments to hold accountable those suspected of committing the gravest crimes.

“The journey from Nuremberg to ‘Never Again’ has proven to be extremely difficult and may still take decades to complete, but the progress of the last 14 years has been phenomenal,” the statement quotes William Pace, convenor of the Coalition, as saying.

“The tools for ending impunity exist for perhaps the first time in history; it is now a matter of galvanizing universal political will to make them fully operational”, he added.

The appeal comes as the world celebrates International Justice Day on Tuesday (July 17) as part of an effort to recognize the emerging system of international criminal justice.

July 17 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The International Justice Day is also an opportunity for the world community to celebrate the historic advances in ending impunity for the worst crimes in international law.

Since 1993, around 200 trials dealing with terrible crimes committed in 12 countries have been held by six international and special tribunals. Similar trials are ongoing at the national level.

The Coalition for the ICC is a global network of more than 2,500 civil society organizations in 150 countries advocating for a fair, effective and independent of the court and improved access to justice for victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.