We’ll not pull out of ICC, says Kalaba

ZAMBIA will not pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) despite other African countries doing so because ‘‘we are a sovereign State whose decisions are not governed by others’’, says Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba. And the Zambia Public Relations Association (ZAPRA) has given Mr. Kalaba an award for ‘‘exceptional diplomacy’’, saying he has been exemplary, well-informed and approachable in the diplomatic sphere this year. Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Mr. Kalaba said Zambia was a member of many regional and international bodies not because there were other countries from Africa that had joined, but because the country made a decision to be part of these groupings based on their benefits to the country. He said the fact that other countries were pulling out of the ICC could not prompt Zambia to pull out but said the country will continue to reconsider its position to ensure that bodies to which it belonged reflected the interests of Zambians. “We are not considering pulling out of the ICC. Zambia is a sovereign State whose decisions to join any regional or international body does not depend on other countries’ decisions and so we will not pull out of the ICC because other countries are pulling out. ‘‘We will continue to reconsider Zambia’s position on all these bodies and to ensure that they are in sinc with our interests as a people and I am hopeful that Zambia will be part of as many institutions as possible as long as they serve the interests of the Zambian people,” Mr Kalaba said. And Mr. Kalaba has reiterated that Zambia will continue to actively participate in regional mechanisms aimed at enhancing peace in the region as it was an ingredient needed for the attainment of continental stability. He said Zambia’s participation in last month’s seventh high-level meeting on the regional mechanism of the peace, security and cooperation framework for the DRC and the region was testimony of the country’s resolve to contribute to regional peace and security. “In view of this, Zambia participated in the seventh high-level meeting of the regional mechanism of peace, security and cooperation framework for the DRC and the region. The objective of the meeting was to review progress on the implementation of peace, security and cooperation framework agreement and to assess the security situation in the Great Lakes region, focusing on the DRC, Burundi, South Sudan and the Central African Republic,” he said.