Summary Day Three 

Assembly of States Parties 2018

Robust state cooperation is the only hope for the next 20 years of international justice

7 December 2018

Plenary on Cooperation

Friday 7 December 2018 opened with a special plenary meeting dedicated to the topic of cooperation and entitled, “20 years after Rome: Back to the major challenges of cooperation.” Discussions focused on financial investigations (with a follow-up to the Paris Declaration); arrests (with the presentation of the conclusions of the 7 November 2018 seminar); and voluntary cooperation agreements (looking at the achievements so far and at the priorities for the future).

The Plenary also saw a ceremony at which Slovenia signed an agreement on enforcement of sentences with the ICC.

The interactive discussion featured interventions by Austria (on behalf of the European Union), UK, Chile, Spain, Norway,Netherlands, Japan, Mexico, Czech Republic, Korea, Brazil, Belgium (and Bastien Hanard who intervened), El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Palestine, Uganda, Uruguay (as the regional focal points on non-cooperation), Mali, and Ecuador.

During its intervention, Spain pledged to conclude additional cooperation agreements with the Court in the future.

Plenary on the 20th Anniversary of the Rome Statute

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute – the treaty which led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court. The Coalition has encouraged all stakeholders to use the opportunity of the 20th anniversary celebrations to take concrete steps towards the universality of the Rome Statute, the adoption of national implementing legislations, the ratification of APIC, and the conclusion of voluntary agreements in view of an enhanced cooperation. Throughout 2018, many events were organized around the world by civil society, states parties, and the Court to commemorate the 20th anniversary. The Assembly also decided to hold a plenary session on the 20th anniversary during its seventeenth session. The plenary session provided an opportunity to reflect on the Rome Statute system’s achievements to date, while also addressing changes and challenges in the international political landscape since 1998 and the role of the Court.

The session began with the projection of a video on the 20th anniversary, introduced by the focal points on cooperation, H.E Ambassador Philippe Lalliot (France) and H.E. Ambassador Momar Guèye (Senegal), followed by remarks by ICC Prosecutor, Ms. Fatou Bensouda.

The plenary then continued with a panel discussion entitled, “Rome Statute 20 years - Addressing current and future challenges,” moderated by H.E. Ambassador Michal Mlynár (Slovakia), ASP Vice-President. Speakers included H.E. Ambassador Sergio Ugalde (Costa Rica); H.E. Ambassador. Brândușa-Ioana Predescu (Romania); Ms. Namira Negm, Legal Counsel, African Union; H.E. Ambassador María Teresa Infante Caffi (Chile); Mr. John Dugard, Professor, Leiden University; and Mr. Bill Pace, Convenor, Coalition for the ICC.

Noting that 2018 is also the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Pace reminded states of the many progressive elements included in the treaty that led to the creation of the Court 20 years ago in Rome - and noted that some of those same innovations are under threat today.

The issue of threats to the Court and to its supporters was referenced by a number of the speakers.

During the subsequent interactive session, a number of speakers continued referencing the issue of increasing threats against the Court and its supporters.

Speakers from the following states and organizations took the floor during the interactive session: Sierra Leone, Palestine, Brazil, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Austria (on behalf of the European Union), France, Portugal, Mexico, Italy, Bangladesh, Chile, South Africa and Human Rights Watch.

Resumption of the General Debate

The Debate resumed in the afternoon of Day 3 with seven speakers from civil society: Mr. Chino Obiagwu (Nigerian national coalition for the ICC (NCICC)/African Network for International Criminal Justice (ANICJ); Ms. Nino Tsagareishvili (Human Rights Centre (HRIDC)/Georgian national coalition for the ICC (GCICC); Mr. Michael Greco (American Bar Association [ABA]; Ms. Olga Guzman Vergara (Comision Mexicana de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos (CMPDPDH); Mr. Hadi Marifat (Transitional Justice Coordination Group-Afghanistan); Mr. Richard Dicker (Human Rights Watch); and Mr. Arpee Santiago (Philippines national coalition for the ICC).

Day Three Side Events

Events on the sidelines of the ASP on Day 3 took the substantive discussions even further with 12 side events taking place.

Lawyers for justice Libya hosted an event on “Victim’s right to be heard: How to strengthen victim participation in the Arab World.”

Norway and Center for International Law research and Policy (CILRAP), Leiden University, Human Rights Watch organized a discussion on “Preliminary Examinations: impact, policies and practices.”

Cooperation with the ICC: What the ASP and UNSC must do” was the featured topic of an event co-hosted by Ireland and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in the morning.

Over lunch, the practical implementation of the principle of complementarity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was discussed in a side event entitled, “La Complémentarité en pratique: La Jurisprudence Congolaise relative aux crimes internationaux," organized by the Club des Amis du Congo and Senegal.

Drug-trafficking, Public Policy and Crimes Against Humanity - Discussing the situations in Mexico, the Philippines and Colombia” was the topic of an event co-hosted by the Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

Chile and Norway presented a video documentary, “The prosecutors” – on the prosecution of sexual violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Liechtenstein and European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) convend an event to discuss “Justice for Syria: Universal Jurisdiction as a main emerging tool to complement the International Criminal Court,” while Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, the United-Kingdom, and Africa Legal Aid (AFLA) co-hosted an event on “Complementarity in Action: Bringing Yahya Jammeh to Justice in Ghana.

The situation in Afghanistan took center stage in an event organized by Transitional Justice Coordination Group–Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch, and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), entitled, “Listening to victims from Afghanistan – Views of Afghan society on the ICC and the peace process.”

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Red de apoyo por la Justicia y la Paz organized an event entitled, “Memory of Political Violence in Venezuela ... we are missing 142/Memoria de la violencia política en Venezuela…nos faltan 142.”

The use of the veto in situations of mass atrocities was the focus of discussions at the “Hard Law Obligations, Atrocity Crimes and the Veto” side event co-hosted by Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, and Costa Rica.

The Gbagbo-Blé Goudé and Jean-Pierre Bemba trials: crossviews and possible impacts on Côte d’Ivoire, the DRC and the RCA“ was the focus of the Ivorian Observatory for Human Rights and the Institute for Security Studies.

An event organized by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation brought focus to victims at an event on “The case for survivor-centered justice: Policy issues and challenges.”

The day ended with a reception hosted by the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and the City of The Hague.

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