Coalition Mourns Death Of Arthur Robinson Who Championed ICC
Arthur N.R. Robinson
Trinidadian leader set in motion movement to end impunity
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court today joins the chorus of tributes to Arthur N.R. Robinson, former prime minister and president of Trinidad and Tobago, on his death last week.
Robinson’s visionary leadership was crucial to adoption of the Rome Statute in 1998 and establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) four years later.
“It is a fact that without Arthur Robinson the international legal order would not be as advanced in the fight against impunity,” said William R. Pace, convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, a global civil society network. “Without the initiatives of Arthur Robinson, I do not believe there would be a Rome Statute and an ICC. While his passing is a sad moment for those who knew him and the wider world, we can reflect on a life that has set in motion an unprecedented global movement to eradicate the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide that have scourged humanity for generations.”
“As a private citizen, a lawyer, a parliamentarian, prime minister and president, A.N.R. Robinson’s life’s work is also a shining example of the great impact and moral leadership that resolved individuals, and smaller nations, can have in shaping the future of the world,” Pace added. “He was a great friend of civil society and intimately understood the importance of working together to achieve change. We now look for the next generation of leaders to follow in his footsteps by continuing to build much-needed support for the Rome Statute system.”
In 1989, Trinidad and Tobago, with Robinson as prime minister, submitted to the 44th United Nations General Assembly a new agenda item for consideration of the establishment of an international criminal court.
By the end of that year, and with the support of a number of other countries including all Caribbean Community states, a motion was piloted through the UN system which resulted in the adoption of a resolution by consensus calling for the creation of the court.
From 1972-87, Robinson was the director of an NGO called Foundation for the Establishment of the International Criminal Court.
In 2006 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, which offers reparations for victims of crimes before the ICC.
Late into life, he offered continued support civil society effort to build support for the Rome Statute system, particularly among Latin American and Caribbean States.