10 July 2007/Kathmandu: A week-long campaign named ICC WEEK for the International Criminal Court (ICC) ended on 7 July with immense support and commitments from various actors such as ministers, leaders of political parties and the parliamentarians. The ICC WEEK was organized and supported by the National Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC) and its Coordinator Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC) along with more than 50 human rights organizations and defenders of Nepal from 1 to 7 July 2007.
The ministers and leaders of political parties have assured that they will raise the issue of accession to the ICC Treaty by the government of Nepal respectively in the meeting of Council of Ministers and the Eight Party Alliance. They have also stated that they will forward the process from their respective positions.
On the other hand, parliamentarians representing key political parties of Nepal namely the Nepali Congress (NC) and the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) criticized the government for not acceding to the Rome Statute despite pressure from different national and international human rights organizations.
The campaign has created a momentum for the ICC in Nepal sensitizing all major stakeholders and strongly urged forwardness of the government in this regard. Bringing in to mind the commitments of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, supreme leaders of seven political parties as well as the historical unanimous commitment resolution adopted by the House of Representatives last year, the ICC WEEK raised voice of human rights community for an immediate accession. It is a high time for Nepal that it could prove its stands on human rights and commitment to ensure justice and put an end to impunity by translating the commitments for the ICC which was also one of the most important steps visibly came to the formal parliamentary discussion after the establishment of Loktantra (democracy) in April 2006.
The ICC WEEK was marked by organizing series of programmes including a Public Ratification of the Rome Statute where members of the Interim Legislature-Parliament, human rights activists, media professionals, academicians, lawyers, students and others. Similarly, interactions and public awareness programmes such as radio programmes, street drama, discussions at colleges, distribution of campaign materials etc. we are also part of the overall campaign.
During the WEEK, human rights defenders submitted a request letter to the Prime Minister of Nepal Mr. Girija Prasad Koirala and urged him to forward the process for accession in line with the parliamentary motion of 25 July 2006. The delegation of human rights community also met with Ms. Sahana Pradhan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mr. Ram Chandra Paudel, Minister for Peace and Reconstruction and handed over the request letters. While receiving the letter, ministers assured that they raise the issue in the meeting of Council of Ministers and forward the process in line with the mandates of respective ministries.
Request letters we also presented to Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal, General Secretary of CPN-UML, Mr. Gopal Man Shrestha, Acting President of Nepali Congress-Democratic, Mr. CP Mailani, Chairperson of the United Left Front, Mr. Narayan Man Bijukchhe, Chairperson of Nepal Workers and Peasants Party, Mr. Laxman Lal Karna, Senior Vice-chairman and Mr. Anil Kumar Jha, General Secretary of Nepal Sadvawana Party-Anandidevi and Mr. Ghanshyam Sharma Paudel, General Secretary and Mr. Dil Bahadur Shrestha, Senior Leader of the People's Front Nepal during separate meetings. Due to the absence in the country, scheduled meeting with Mr. Prachanda, Chairperson of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist could not take part.