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STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. TOSHIRO OZAWA
AMBASSADOR OF JAPAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON THE REPORTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
8 NOVEMBER 2005
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSESMBLY
At the outset, my delegation would like to thank President Philippe Kirsch for his in-depth report on the current work of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Japan congratulates the International Criminal Court for entering into its operational phase. In 2005, the ICC initiated an investigation into the situation in Darfur, Sudan, in addition to the investigations into the situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Northern Uganda. When the Security Council voted on referring the situation in Darfur to the Prosecutor of the ICC, Japan, as a member of the Security Council, voted in favor of the Security Council resolution. This resolution, we believe, was a significant step toward putting an end to the impunity of one of the most serious crimes in the international community today.
In order for the ICC to win the trust of the international community, it is essential for the Court to demonstrate its fairness, impartiality and efficiency. The activities of the ICC are increasingly drawing the attention of the world at large, especially since some activities are now shifting from the investigatory to the judicial phase. In this regard, the ICC is facing a crucial moment in its efforts to increase support for its activities within the international community.
Although Japan has yet to accede to the Rome Statute, it has actively participated as an observer in all the ICC-related meetings. Currently we are taking part in activities such as the discussion on drafting of the regulations for the Victims Trust Fund and the task force for the draft code of professional conduct for counsel. These are important activities which will contribute to the further development of the ICC.
As mentioned on a number of occasions, Japan is seriously considering accession to the Rome Statute. We are assessing all possible implications for the domestic criminal code system. We are also evaluating what the financial implications of accession would be against the background of Japan's serious fiscal deficits. We are aware of the growing need for budgetary expansion as the ICC begins full-scale operations. It is also true, however, that financial discipline must be maintained in order for the Court to enjoy the support of the wider international community.
Japan welcomes the fact that the number of States Parties to the Rome Statute has reached 100. Japan, as a state which is considering to become a State Party to the Statute, would like to emphasize the importance of the transparency and effectiveness of the work of the ICC. We hope that the Court will become a truly universal organization that commands the trust of the international community as a whole.
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