International Justice Day

The 15th anniversary of the International Justice Day comes in a changing time for Turkey.  The efforts made the present Government for the democratization of the country are reaching now the pinnacle of the path thanks to the ongoing peace process between the Republic of  Turkey and the PKK members: the process is showing to the entire world the strong will, from both of the actors, to end a thirty years long conflict within the borders of the region. The peace talks were greeted by the whole international community but, at the same time and in this day, some remark must be done.

Since ten years Turkey is undergoing a renewal of the domestic policies, in an unprecedented attempt to grant democratic and civil liberties to all its citizens like never before. Unfortunately, not ratifying yet the Rome Statute shows Turkey as not expressing its will of becoming a part of the civilized world, instead of standing together with states like USA, Russia, China, Israel and Iran. These states, including Turkey, are the few states which are not state parties to the Rome Statute, that 139 states signed and 122 of them became party.

To mark the International Justice Day, the Human Rights Agenda Association and its President Dr.. Gűnal Kurşun are pleased to share the words of  the President of the International Criminal Court, Mr. Sang-Hyun Song, pronounced at a conference at Bilgi University in the last May:

“We meet in a region undergoing historic change, and I am under no illusions about the fresh challenges which human rights organisations now face. I strongly believe that accession to the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, can be a crucial factor for stability, the rule of law, and the protection of human rights. Granting the ICC jurisdiction deters future violence and turmoil through the adoption of legal norms for justice, backed by an international court of last resort. But it is not a measure for settling old scores. The ICC is a forward-looking institution, and it has no jurisdiction over events prior to accession to the Rome Statute.”

“The International Criminal Court is the product of a shared global commitment – a promise that has been made and broken too many times throughout history: every time we see the most horrific crimes committed, the world says “never again”, and promises that the next time will be different, and we will not have to apologise again to victims for action that is too little, too late.”

“I am calling on Turkey to stand with us, to stand with the victims of crimes, to stand with the people of the world and make this commitment to join the International Criminal Court.”

Mr. Sang-Hyun Song-President of the ICC

In fact the efficiency of the ICC, the first permanent international judicial body capable of trying individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crime of aggression, consists in being a forward-looking institution, with no aim to investigate the past but with the scope to avoid that the previous events could happen again.

The HRAA  asks the Republic of Turkey to adopt the Rome Statute and become a state party to the International Criminal Court not only to emphasize the democratization process which is undergoing, but also to show the will to confront with its past in approaching the forthcoming anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Roberto Frifirini,