Arusha, November 3, 2012 (FH) - The President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Sang-Hyun Song, Thursday said the ICC critically needs the cooperation and support of states and international organisations, including the United Nations, to meet its objectives.

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“Without the assistance of States, the ICC cannot perform its mandate effectively,” President Song said when presenting annual report before the UN General Assembly in New York. He added, “Cooperation with the ICC is a concrete way to give effect to that objective.”

Judge Song was critical on the way States had been hesitating to effect arrest warrants issued by the Court in some situations under investigations, notably Sudan and Uganda.

According to the President, in the situation in Uganda, arrest warrants against Joseph Kony and three other alleged leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army remained outstanding since 2005.

“I find this unacceptable and an affront to all those affected by the conflict in Northern Uganda. Once again, I strongly urge all relevant States to cooperate with the goal of bringing these persons to justice without delay,” he called.

The ICC is the first permanent international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, namely war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

The ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, entered into force on 1 July 2002. The Court, the president said, was conducting investigations in seven situations, including Darfur (Sudan) and Uganda.

Others are Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Central African Republic (CAR), Kenya, Libya and Côte d’Ivoire. In addition, Mali referred the situation in the country to the ICC, and the Prosecutor was conducting a preliminary examination on the matter.

The Court has issued one judgment in the situation of CAR involving Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga, who was jailed 14 years in the first instance for war crimes. Both prosecution and defence have appealed against the verdict.