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Statement by H. E. Mr. Urmas Paet, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia ath the Ministerial Panel: A Call to ratify the Kampala amendments on the crime of aggression

27.09.2013

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Firstly, I would like to thank Liechtenstein, our close ally in struggle for nations’ human right for peace and justice, for organizing this panel. I also would like to thank the Deputy Secretary General Mr. Jan Eliasson for his comprehensive introduction to the topic, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Botswana, Mr Skelemani.

 

Today 6 months ago Estonia submitted its letter of ratification of amendments to the Rome Statute. The amendments primarily address the crime of aggression. We urge other states parties to Rome Statute to finalize their ratification of the Kampala amendments.

 

Voltaire has said: “It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished, unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” This was said with bitter irony in 18th century. Regrettably it applied in the 20th century on horrific scale and even today, mankind unfortunately tends to take mass murders and other atrocities as statistics, not as punishable crimes.

 

Today, the criminalization of aggression is at the beginning of its path to become ius cogens. Universality of international laws and global understanding of the need to implement the same principles of international law similarly are vital to make this world better place to live. For this purpose countries must set an example of non-aggression, self-restraint, responsibility to protect and rule of law.

 

We believe there should be no impunity for starting a war, no impunity for war crimes. We strongly support states’ efforts to bring culprits to justice. There can be no punishment without impartial investigation, due process and verdict.

 

We also believe that there should be no place for indifference and disregard. Every conflict, every war brings along humanitarian crisis. Putting weapons down and bringing culprits to justice is just the first step for any part of conflict. Reconciliation and reconstruction take considerably more efforts with charred countries and scarred nations.

Thank you for your attention.

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