Gurung pleads hurdles on Rome Statute

Kathmandu, March 6:

Minister for Law, Justice and Constituent Assembly Affairs Dev Gurung today told human rights activists that the government could not ratify the Rome Statute on International Criminal Court without first discussing the issue with the political parities represented in the Constituent Assembly.

“There are many political parties in the CA. Therefore we have to seek their consent in this regard,” Gurung told the rights activists when they met him today, demanding immediate ratification of the Statute.

The rights activists have launched a campaign to press the government to ratify the statute so that the past and future crimes against humanity could be tackled through the ICC.

“He told us that the previous stricture of the parliament was not sufficient to ratify the statute and a new consensus was required to ratify the statute,” rights activist Subodh Raj Pyakurel, who is also the chairman of the National Campaign for the Coalition for ICC, said. Pyakurel and William R Pace, chairman of International Campaign for International Criminal Court, separately met with Gurung, former PM Girija Prasad Koirala, NHRC Chairman Kedar Nath Upadhyaya and OHCHR-Nepal chief Richard Bennett to seek their support for the ratification of the statute.

Pyakurel said Gurung, however, assured them that the government would consider the ratification once it consults with the political parties. Former PM Koirala, however, told the team that his party was ready to raise the issue in the coming session of the parliament.

NHRC Chairman Kedar Nath Upadhyaya told the rights activists that the government had recently told the commission that the ratification was under government’s consideration.

OHCHR-Nepal chief Bennett said the ratification of the Statute will help address the state of impunity in the country.