September 16, 2019
 In 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction

Country: Gabon
Delegate Name: Macie Dow

Rooted in ancient legal traditions, universal jurisdiction has evolved through crucial milestones such as the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials post-World War II and the establishing of the International Criminal Court in 2002. These milestones have contributed to recognizing and accepting universal jurisdiction to hold individuals accountable for grave international crimes, regardless of nationality or where they were committed.
Gabon emphasizes the global commitment to accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. It views the principle of universal jurisdiction as an essential tool in fostering a just and secure world. As a responsible member of the international community, Gabon acknowledges the importance of collective efforts to combat corruption for the most severe transnational offenses.
Gabon has consistently demonstrated its commitment to upholding international law by ratifying crucial agreements such as the Genocide Convention. Domestically, Gabon is working towards aligning its legal framework with universal jurisdiction principles, reinforcing its dedication to prosecuting individuals responsible for serious international crimes through legislative reforms.
While recognizing the importance of universal jurisdiction, Gabon acknowledges the challenges associated with its application. Establishing a coherent and universally accepted legal framework proves to be a formidable task. Additionally, the selective enforcement of universal jurisdiction raises apprehensions, particularly regarding the potential exploitation of this principle by powerful states pursuing their geopolitical interests. As Gabon navigates the complexity of international justice, ensuring impartial execution without political bias emerges as a serious concern.
Gabon advocates for a more nuanced approach that considers the various legal and cultural contexts in which these crimes occur. Gabon’s top priority is to strike a delicate balance between global accountability and respect for national sovereignty. Recognizing the legal landscape’s complexity, Gabon encourages the international community to work together to establish clear and consistent legal frameworks for universal jurisdiction. Gabon proposes creating universally accepted definitions and standards for crimes deserving such jurisdiction. This would increase the principle’s effectiveness while reducing the risk of selective application.
The Republic of Gabon is concerned about the possibility of selective enforcement of universal jurisdiction, which could be used for political gain. It advocates for impartiality and fairness in its application, calling on the international community to avoid misuse that could jeopardize the principle’s credibility.
Gabon is committed to seeking justice for grave international crimes while upholding the principles of sovereignty and fairness. Gabon believes that applying universal jurisdiction in an inclusive, cooperative, and culturally sensitive manner is crucial for fostering a just and equitable global legal order. As it engages in discussions and negotiations on this pressing matter, Gabon stands ready to work with other nations to address the challenges and work toward a world where accountability prevails without jeopardizing sovereign states’ autonomy.

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