ASP18 Closes - Commitment to strengthen the Court a step forward, but no movement towards ensuring justice has resources truly needed

Assembly of States Parties 2019 

6 December 2019

Plenary Meeting

Day five of ASP18 began with the introduction of the draft resolutions slated for adoption by the Assembly of States Parties. Seven resolutions were introduced in the session: Resolution of the Assembly of States Parties on the proposed program budget for 2020, Resolution on the remuneration of judges of the ICCResolution on amendments to article 8 of the Rome Statute of the ICC, Resolution on Cooperation, Resolution on the review of the procedure for the nomination and election of judgesResolution on the Review of the International Criminal Court and the Rome Statute system, and the Resolution on Strengthening the ICC and ASP (Omnibus Resolution).

States considered the Court’s proposed budget request for 2020 (€147.42 million) and the recommendation of the CBF to approve a budget of €146.21 million, finally settling on a budget of €145.62 million – approximately €600,000 less than what the independent expert body had advised.

In the Omnibus Resolution, States again addressed threats directed at the ICC, its officials and its supporters, updating language from last year’s resolution to read, 

“The Assembly of States Parties reconfirms its unwavering support for the Court as an independent and impartial judicial institution, reiterates its commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and to preserve its integrity undeterred by any threats against the Court, its officials and those cooperating with it, express concern over any measures against Court officials, and renews its resolve to stand united against impunity.”

The Resolution on the review of the procedures for the nomination and election of judges  recalls the obligations of States under the Statute to ensure they nominate and elect the most highly qualified individuals to serve as ICC Judges, and also amends the Resolution regarding the procedure for the nomination and elections, as well as the terms of reference of the Advisory Committee on Nominations (ACN).

States also adopted an amendment to article 8 of the Rome Statute to include starvation as a war crime in situations of non-international armed conflict. The crime only exists in the Statute in the context of international armed conflicts.

During the closing segment, the Coalition for the ICC noted that “Efforts to strengthen the Court and we recognize these developments as opportunities for meaningful change.”

Chino Obiagwu of the African Network on International Criminal Court (ANICJ) underscored, on behalf of the Coalition as a whole, that “these efforts must genuinely engage victims and affected communities and learn from the expertise of civil society, particularly on cross-cutting issues.”

Side Events

An event exploring “Enhancing Prosecution: A Crucial Factor in Cooperation for Core International Crimes” was organized by Australia, Sweden, the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the International Nuremberg Principles Academy. 

Canada and MADRE hosted a discussion on the “Aftermath of ISIL: Community Hearings for Gender-Based Violence Survivors and their Communities in Iraq” while the Netherlands, Switzerland, Human Rights Watch, the Independent Investigative Mechanism (Myanmar) and International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (Syria) organized an event regarding “Turning challenges into opportunities: Rethinking UN and civil society cooperation towards accountability in Myanmar and Syria”.

The Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect, Defiende Venezuela and Un Mundo Sin Mordaza together held a discussion on the “Paths to Justice and Accountability for Venezuela: Ongoing Initiatives by the International Community”  and Ireland and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) organized an event focused on “Establishing Reparative Justice for Victims of International Crime”.

In their event, the Georgian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (GCICC), Justice International and the UK discussed “11 Years After the August War: Uninterrupted Story of Impunity”. 

Bulgaria, Finland, Niger, Senegal, Tunisia, Uruguay and the ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) together hosted the launch of the highly anticipated “ICC Office of the Prosecutor’s report on Preliminary Examination Activities 2019”.

Missed something? Catch up on the action with all of our ASP18 Daily Summaries.

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