The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, has affirmed Ghana’s recognition and support for the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in line with the country’s tradition and culture in protecting international human rights.
He made this affirmation when he led a delegation to London during the Justice Ministers’ conference which aim at supporting the ICC in its investigations into the Russian-led war in Ukraine. Ghana was the only African country present at the Conference.
He said the world was at a very crucial point in its quest to root out impunity and punish all instances of brute aggression and disrespect for the sovereignty of an independent nation. He said Ghana’s track record as a firm adherent to human rights implies that the nation has no difficulty supporting the work of the ICC, especially relating to the investigation of war crimes committed in Ukraine.
He said Ghana was of the fervent belief that a pathway to the resolution of the war was through honest and sincere dialogue between the warring parties, adding, however, that the course of recent events suggests that a peaceful resolution through dialogue would be an illusion.
According to the Attorney General, the ICC thus has a responsibility to identify suspects, gather evidence and prosecute perpetrators thus Ghana supports the investigative work of the Prosecutor in the situation in Ukraine to ensure that individuals found culpable of egregious crimes in violation of the Rome Statutes are investigated and brought to book under international law.
He indicated that the history of Ghana showed a strong record in the establishment of fruitful partnerships with the United Nations and other continental and regional bodies such as the African Union and ECOWAS in conflict prevention, peacekeeping operations and special political missions.
He said, “Undoubtedly, it is apt for the nation to sustain this noble record of contributing to a global peacekeeping effort at this crucial time. Support for witnesses The Victims and Witnesses Support Unit under Article 43(6) of the Rome Statutes, which handles all witnesses and victims who appear before the Court, constitutes an important part of the work of the ICC.’
He said given the peculiar nature of investigations anticipated to be conducted in this situation, there would be the need to provide witnesses with adequate protective and security measures and assist them in obtaining medical, psychological and other appropriate assistance.
Touching on issues relating to training in trauma, sexual violence, security and confidentiality and general support for witnesses when they are called to testify before the Court, he said there was a need to be conscious of the adoption of gender-sensitive measures to facilitate the testimony of victims of sexual violence at all stages of the proceedings and pay due regard to the particular needs of children, elderly persons and persons with disabilities.
Edem Agblevor, ISD
Leave a Reply