International brief ~ African states ratify ICC statute D. Wes Rist at 10:53 AM ET
Burundi and Liberia have become the 95th and 96th countries to ratify the International Criminal Court treaty (the Rome Statute). The two countries deposited their ratifications during a week-long event focusing on UN treaties in New York. Burundi depositied its ratification on Tuesday and Liberia did the same yesterday. The NGO Coalition for the ICC has an official press release here [PDF]. The official ICC site has announced the Burundi ratification, but not the Liberian ratification yet. Notice of the ratification will be posted here.
In other international law news...
EU Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen has given the green light to Turkey's EU hopes. Verheugen met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (official site in Turkish), who promised to push through the contested penal reform bill "as soon as possible." The Turkish Parliament (official site in Turkish) will be meeting in special session starting Sunday to get the penal reform bill finished before the EU report on Turkey's bid for entrance is published on October 6. JURIST's Paper Chase has background on the issue here. Turkish Press has more.
Brazil (official government site in Spanish) declared Wednesday that it had reached an agreement to allow IAEA inspectors into its uranium enrichment plant, but the IAEA has disputed the declaration, stating only that progress had been made and talks were still continuing. Brazil had stated that it was concerned about possible industrial espionage during the inspection of the plant which produces chemicals the IAEA states may be used in the construction of a nuclear weapon. Brazil's constitution prohibits the country from owning nuclear weapons. BBC News has more on Brazil's statement. The Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology's statement is here (statement in Spanish). Reuters has more on the IAEA response.
A UN Development Programme offical stated yesterday that he believed the World Bank should be immune from criminal liability. The offical spoke to a delegation of Bangladeshi officials considering bringing suit against the UN specialiazed agency. The Charter of the World Bank does not prohibit criminal liability for the organization, nor does its status as a UN body, since it is considered to have autonomy from the UN. Matamat.com has more.
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