The President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, His Excellency Ambassador Christian Wenaweser met on 17 September, in New York, with His Excellency Mr. Moses Wetangula, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kenya. Minister Wetangula reiterated Kenya’s firm support for the International Criminal Court, especially as it pertains to investigations currently underway in Kenya. With regard to the visit of President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan to Nairobi, he highlighted his country’s competing obligations towards the Court, the African Union, and regional peace and stability.
Ambassador Wenaweser underscored his view that the obligation to cooperate in accordance with the Rome Statute could not legally be suspended by a decision of the African Union. Only the Security Council could suspend the Court’s investigations in accordance with article 16 of the Rome Statute. He expressed his hope that the recent events would lead to a fruitful and broad discussion on cooperation with the Court and to the reiteration of the universal commitment that the Court enjoyed among its States Parties, and welcomed the meeting as a possible first step in this regard. Ambassador Wenaweser highlighted the reliance of the Court on the cooperation of States, without which it could not operate.
The conversation also made reference to Ambassador Wenaweser’s letter to Minister Wetangula, dated 28 August, wherein Ambassador Wenaweser forwarded the Decision issued by the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber I, informing the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute about President Omar Al-Bashir’s presence in the territory of the Republic of Kenya. Minister Wetangula informed Ambassador Wenaweser that an official reply from the Kenyan Foreign Ministry would be forthcoming, and the parties agreed to continue the dialogue on cooperation.
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