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Office of the President (OP)
President departs for New York ICC Assembly

This morning (09/12/11) H.E. the President, Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, departed for the New York, where on Monday he will deliver the Keynote Address at the Opening of the 10th Session of the Assembly of State Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Assembly is to be held at the United Nations Headquarters from the 12th through 21st of December 2011.

On Sunday evening His Excellency will also attend the Justice Gala 2011 awards at the Harvard Club in New York, where he is to receive the Justitia Award for Statesman of the Year. The Justitia Award are sponsored by the Berlin based Cinema for Peace Foundation, who this year are partnering with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court “in order to Honour Outstanding achievements in International Justice and Human Rights.”

In their letter to the President, the Cinema for Peace Foundation state:

“We would like to congratulate you on your leadership in Africa transforming Botswana to a role model state that has freedom of speech, a low corruption rate and a vital economic growth. Especially, we want to express our respect for your achievements to promote justice on an international level. Through your efforts, you have taken a further step to bring your country to international leadership.”

The Foundation further cites the words of ICC Deputy Prosecutor Fatour Bensouda, who reported earlier this year that:

“Botswana is one of those few countries, especially in Africa, that encourage the work of the ICC and one of the countries that take their responsibility under the ICC Statute very seriously.”

In addition to His Excellency, Sunday Night’s Gala will also honour actress Angelina Jolie, as Civic Supporter of the Year, and Benjamin Ference, for Lifetime Achievement. The later individual is being recognized for his efforts in promoting a legal framework for international justice, which date back to his role in the post-Second World War Nuremburg Prosecutions.

The Cinema for Peace Foundation, which is currently chaired actor Sean Penn, is driven by an International Committee whose members include film stars, as well as Noble Peace Prize Laureates, international statesmen and activists.

Prominent individuals on the committee of this year’s awards thus include, among others: George Clooney, Catherine Deneuve, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bob Geldorf, Richard Gere, Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman, Ben Kingsley, Liza Minelli, Liam Neeson, Tim Robbins, Susan Saradon and Catherine Zeta-Jones, as well as with Mikhail Gorbachev, Deepak Chopra, Josckha Fischer and the Dalai Lama.

The President is scheduled to return to Botswana this coming Tuesday.

While he is away the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, the Honourable Ponatshego Kedikilwe, will serve as Acting President.


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