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03/11/2011: Ambassador Cuisia Campaigns for Dr. Santiago’s ICC Candidature

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. stresses the Philippines’ commitment to support the International Criminal Court, adding that Dr. Miriam Defensor Santiago’s eminent qualifications as a legal luminary would help the ICC’s efforts to safeguard the world against impunity.

03 November 2011, Washington DC – Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. hosted a reception for the diplomatic corps yesterday at the Fairfax Hotel to campaign for the candidature of Dr. Miriam Defensor Santiago for one of the six seats available in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the term 2012-2021 at elections to be held this December.

In his remarks before his Washington, D.C.-based colleagues, Ambassador Cuisia stated that Dr. Santiago has established expertise in international humanitarian law and human rights law, as well as extensive experience in a professional legal capacity which is of relevance to the judicial work of the Court.  He added that Dr. Santiago is one of only two female candidates for this year’s elections, an important consideration when many of the victims of the crimes brought before the Court include crimes of sexual violence against women.  “Dr. Santiago’s election will highlight the relevance of the Court’s work in Asia, particularly among developing Asian countries,” he said.

The Independent Panel on International Criminal Court Judicial Elections has found Dr. Santiago qualified to be a judge of the ICC.  The Panel was established by the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) in December 2010, to encourage States Parties to nominate the most qualified candidates to be judges of the ICC.  The CICC includes 2,500 civil society organizations in 150 different countries working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the ICC.  The Independent Panel consists of experts in international law, international criminal law and procedure, humanitarian law and human rights law.

The Philippines formally announced its candidature for a seat in the ICC at the General Debate of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last September.  Governed by the Rome Statute, the ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. With its seat at The Hague, it is an independent international organization and is not part of the United Nations system. The Philippines deposited the instrument of ratification for the Rome Statute of the ICC in August this year.  END