PRIME MINISTER KAMLA PERSAD-BISSESSAR CONGRATULATES JUSTICE HENDERSON ON HIS ELECTION AS A JUDGE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT. ONE MORE EXAMPLE OF OUR POLICY OF ROBUST DIPLOMATIC ENGAGEMENT IN THE GLOBAL ARENA.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar today congratulated Justice Geoffrey Andrew Henderson on his appointment as a Judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) based on elections held during the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC which took place in The Hague, on 23 September, 2013.
The Prime Minister noted that the overwhelming support received by Justice Henderson, who received 98 votes of the 99 States Parties present and voting, with one abstention, is a tribute to his 25 years of exemplary service where he rose from the junior ranks of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), eventually becoming DPP, and his subsequent appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago. She also acknowledged that Justice Henderson excelled when he appeared before the Advisory Committee on Nominations (ACN) in The Hague, in October. The ACN was established by States Parties to the Rome Statute in order to determine whether candidates for election to the ICC fully satisfy the criteria for election under the Rome Statute.
The Prime Minister also recalled that Justice Henderson’s candidature was endorsed by CARICOM and indicated further that as a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Law Faculty, as well as the Sir Hugh Wooding Law School herself, she was heartened that both institutions were responsible for the legal education of Justice Henderson, and former Judge Anthony Carmona, who resigned from the ICC upon his assumption to office as President of Trinidad and Tobago in March of this year. Justice Henderson will serve the unexpired portion of former Judge Carmona’s term which ends on March 10, 2021.
In paying tribute to the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Mission of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations in New York, our Mission in Brussels, as well as the country’s other diplomatic Missions for their contribution to the election of Judge Henderson. The Prime Minister noted that the campaign was characterized by the finest tenets of strategizing and lobbying at the international level. It was no surprise therefore that Justice Henderson received the support of countries from diverse regions of the globe. She opined that the robust diplomatic initiative mounted by Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the acknowledged high quality of our candidate, may have influenced the decision of the Government of Uruguay to withdraw its nominee on 21st November, 2013 to fill the vacant position on the bench of the Court.
The Prime Minister advanced that the efforts of her Government has resulted in Trinidad and Tobago’s profile being enhanced at the global level in myriad areas which will ultimately impact on national development. In this regard, she cited Mr. Kishan Kumarsingh of the Ministry of Water and the Environment’s role as Co-Chair of the climate change negotiations, attended by over 10,000 delegates from all over the world, which concluded last Saturday in Warsaw ,Poland; the appointment earlier this year of Ambassador Sandra Honore as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and Head of the United Nations Stabilzation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH); Trinidad and Tobago’s recent election in Paris to the Executive Board of UNESCO; as well as the election of other nationals to global bodies including Judge Anthony Lucky to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and former Director of Surveys and Commissioner of Lands, Mr. Francis Charles to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.
Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar intimated that her Government will continue to engage in a foreign policy which positions Trinidad and Tobago at the centre of international initiatives where highly qualified and experienced nationals are placed in positions where they can help to fashion an ever-changing global architecture to benefit Small Island Developing States like our own country. To this end, she pledged to provide the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its overseas Missions with the human and other resources that are necessary to promote and protect the interests of Trinidad and Tobago abroad.