Tunisia becomes 116th state to join Int'l Criminal Court

12:31, June 25, 2011      

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Tunisia joined the International Criminal Court here on Friday during a ceremony becoming the 116th state party to the Rome Statute, which set up the ICC to investigate and prosecute cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity worldwide.

"The step is an expression of the fundamental chances that the Arab world has witnessed over the past months," Ghazi Jomaa, who is the Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the UN, told reporters.

"Tunisia is witnessing historic changes as a result of the January 14 revolution and since then genuine efforts have been taken to set the foundation of a democratic state embracing the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law," Jomaa said.

He also noted that Tunisia is "resolutely progressing with steady steps toward fulfilling the aspirations which fuel the revolution and gave birth to the Tunisian's dream."

The permanent representative announced that the Tunisian government will take steps to join other key human rights treaties, including the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance and others.

Jordan is the only other state party to the Rome Statute in the Middle East and North Africa. Ten countries in the region have signed but not ratified the treaty: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Source: Xinhua
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