To ratify ICC Treaty Roundtable in Yemen [Archives:2004/702/Reportage]

January 12 2004

By Fahmia Al-Fotih
For the Yemen Times

Under auspices of Ms. Amat Al-Aleem Al-Souswa, Human Rights Minister, Sister Arab Forum for Human Rights (SAF), along with International Federation for Human Rights (Fidh), opened and held on Wednesday 7 January the roundtable about International Criminal Court (ICC) to ratify and implement the Rome Statute in Yemen that took place at Sana'a International Hotel.
Members of the European Parliament as well as No Peace Without Justice representatives (PWJ), ambassadors along with a number of members of Yemen parliament and human rights activists and representatives of various civil society organizations attended the opening ceremony.

Ms Amat AL-Aleem stressed the importance of holding the roundtable in Yemen to discuss issues of human rights and the key role of the ICC in enhancing human rights ” Yemeni leadership is keen to develop the status of human rights. Consequently, the presidential decree was issued to create a Human Rights Ministry that vividly links actions to words. Yemen has signed and ratified most of the conventions and agreements in this regard.”
Al-Souswa wished success and good luck for participants hoping to come up with fruitful results.
Jeanne Sulzer, International Justice Program Director, delivered a speech on behalf of Driss El Yazami, Secretary General of Fidh “The Yemeni national roundtable for the ratification and implementation of the ICC Statute represents the first event of an on going effort and commitment on the part of Fidh for the fight against impunity of the most heinous crimes. By ratifying the Rome Statute, Yemen would find itself among countries with encouraging human rights records which support accountability at the global level and the rule of law while acknowledging that the primary responsibility for the prosecution of international crimes remains on the State national courts''
Sulzer added “Yemen recent commitments to strengthening human rights have been impressive, from the creation of a ministry for Human Rights currently led by Ms Amat Al-Aleem Al-Souswa, to support a culture of participatory democracy among civil society.''
Ms. Amal AL-Basha, head of SAF, said in her address “We are here today for justice and fairness and for protecting human rights. We are here to put our hands together to run after those criminals who have committed heinous crimes against humanity.''
She further said “Today we loudly call on those countries which have not ratified the ICC Statute yet, including Yemen and Arab countries, that we today demand them to ratify as Jordan and Djibouti did.''
She concluded, “All of us are looking for seeing less-violence and more justice world and as Luther King said “The evils spread in the world not because they are everywhere but because the good people do not work well.''