“This is an exceptional decision. I did not take it lightly, but I believe it is the right thing to do,” Fatou Bensouda said in a statement.She said that she had explained to the judge that several people who may have provided important evidence in the case have either died or are too afraid to testify for the Prosecution. Ms. Bensouda also noted that the Prosecution lost the testimony of its key witness “after this witness recanted a crucial part of his evidence, and admitted to us that he had accepted bribes.”In addition, the Prosecutor said it was “disappointing” that the Government of Kenya failed to provide her office with important evidence and failed to facilitate access to critical witnesses. More than 1,100 people were killed, 3,500 injured and up to 600,000 forcibly displaced in the violence that followed the December 2007 elections.In January of last year, the ICC said it had established substantial grounds to believe that the crimes of murder, deportation or forcible transfer, rape, other inhumane acts and persecution were committed in an attack on the civilian residents of Nakuru and Naivasha towns between 24 and 28 January 2008.The Court named Mr. Muthaura criminally responsible for the alleged crimes as an indirect co-perpetrator, alongside Mr. Kenyatta, the deputy Prime Minister and winner of last week’s presidential election.“Let me be absolutely clear on one point – this decision applies only to Mr. Muthaura. It does not apply to any other case,” the Prosecutor said in her statement.She added that, while aware of political developments in Kenya, “these have no influence, at all, on the decisions that I make as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.”Ms. Bensouda said she remained committed to justice for the victims of the 2007-2008 post-election violence. “The real victims of the terrible violence in Kenya five years ago are the men, the women, and the children, who were killed, injured, raped, or forcibly displaced from their homes – and whose voices must not be forgotten,” she noted.
“I’m confident that our common interest in providing future generations with a healthy, resilient and productive ocean will continue to guide delegations in their negotiations,” concluded the UN legal chief.The treatyFrom huge blue whales to tiny microorganisms and algae, a strong Global Ocean Treaty would preserve the diversity of the seabed for generations to come.The discussions are centering around conserving and sustainably using marine biological diversity areas beyond national jurisdictions, which take into consideration sharing benefits and management tools that include marine protected areas, environmental impact assessments, capacity-building and marine technology transference. Greenpeace is set hold a set of mobilizations in New York in which Spanish film star Javier Bardem will share his voice on the importance of saving the world’s oceans. On Monday, the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument kicked off its third of four rounds of UN meetings toward achieving a global treaty for the oceans under the UN Convention for the Law of the Sea, known as UNCLOS.“I’m confident that our common interest in providing future generations with a healthy, resilient and productive ocean will continue to guide delegations in their negotiations,” said Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, in his remarks opening the session at UN Headquarter in New York, which aims to reach an agreement by the first half of 2020. Since their last meeting, the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services has revealed that, across most of the globe, humans have significantly altered nature, with ecosystems and biodiversity showing rapid decline, he said. Due to projected impacts of increasing land- and sea-use change, exploitation of organisms and climate change, negative trends are expected to continue through 2050 and beyond, according to the report. It further notes that 66 per cent of the ocean is experiencing increasing cumulative human impacts, primarily from climate change stressors, including sea surface temperature anomalies, ocean acidification and ultraviolet radiation. However, hope prevails for sustaining and conserving marine species and ecosystem using a coordinated mix of interventions, including multilevel coordination. “Thus, this Conference can, and it is my hope that it will, play an important role in turning the tide against this rapid decline,” stressed Mr. Soares.Pointing out that ocean processes and climate change processes are “inexorably linked”, he maintained that a healthy and resilient ocean has a “critical role” to play in adaptation and mitigation efforts. He noted that in September, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will consider its Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate to further deepen scientific understanding of these interlinkages and inform policy discussions. Marine Wildlife off Atauro Island, Timor-Leste.A dolphin leaps through the waters off Atauro Island, Timor-Leste. According to joint research conducted in 2008 between the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Timorese Government, the deep water , by UN Photo/Martine Perret read more