By Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thanh Ha, Representative of Viet Nam
On Agenda Item 76: Report of the International Criminal Court
(New York, 1 November 2007)
Five years ago, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court went into force, marking a historic event in the development of the International Criminal Law. My Delegation shares the view expressed in the Report of the ICC, submitted to the United Nations General Assembly in document A/62/314, which says ‘by helping to end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious international crimes, the International Criminal Court is intended to contribute to the prevention of such crimes and to the maintenance of peace and security’. By 1 October 2007, the number of States Parties to the Rome Statute has reached 105, a fact demonstrating the strong support of the UN Member States to the ICC.
The activities of the ICC as shown in its Report once again reaffirms what the UN Secretary-General stated about the Court being ‘the centerpiece of a system of international criminal justice’. So far, four situations have been referred to the Court. The vast amount of communications relating to purported crimes the Court have been receiving also testifies its increasing prestige. Cooperation between the Court and the United Nations, States, international organizations and civil society continue to be promoted.
While taking note of the substantial progress made by the International Criminal Court, it should be highlighted that the Court’s jurisdiction would not be completed until the crime of aggression is defined and included in the Rome Statute. The Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC have made great efforts to define the act of aggression and the conditions for the Court to exercise jurisdiction over this crime. The Sixth Session of the Assembly of the States Parties to be convened in New York at the end of this month is hoped to offer another opportunity for fruitful discussions of this important unsettled part of the Court’s jurisdiction.
Viet Nam has been following the development of the ICC with great interest. We have many times stated our support for an independent and objective international criminal court, which complements the national juridical system and operates in accordance with the fundamental principles of international law. In fact, the competent authorities in Viet Nam are seriously studying the possibility of acceding to the Rome Statute of the ICC. We take particularly great interest in the work of the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression and support that the UN General Assembly Resolution 3314 (XXIX) should be an important guidance to the Group’s substantive work.
I thank you, Mr. President.