Cooperation and political support at the heart of the Rome Statute system

Assembly of States Parties 2019 

5 December 2019

Plenary Meeting

On day four of the 18th session of the ASP, a plenary session on cooperation focused on “Inter-State and Inter-Institutional cooperation at the heart of cooperation challenges”. Panelists shared their experiences on how to address the challenges of cooperation and underscored the need to strengthen capacity at the national level.

During this session, the ICC Prosecutor and Registrar noted the concerns and challenges of States in relation to cooperation. They further recalled the outstanding public arrest warrants, and reiterated that significant work remains to be done to enhance cooperation between States and the Court.

Several States intervened in the discussion to share their views on the legal and political constraints faced, and noted that the ongoing discussion on the “ICC Review” process would provide an opportunity to address States’ obligations to cooperate.

Four civil society organizations also intervened during the plenary, including one on behalf of 29 NGOs, expressing concern at the political pressure and threats towards the Court that could prevent victims’ access to justice. The organizations called on States Parties and the Assembly to tackle non-cooperation and respond to threats that may hinder the Court’s mandate and also made calls for the conclusion of voluntary cooperation agreements with the Court, including on witness relocation, interim and final release, and the enforcement of sentences.

States also convened for the seventh and final consultation of the Omnibus resolution “Strengthening the International Criminal Court and the Assembly of States Parties”. With the conclusion of consultations, the Resolution is set to be introduced to the ASP tomorrow, Friday 6 December.

Day four additionally saw the continuation of negotiations on the 2020 ICC budget, with both a meeting of the Working Group on the Budget and informal consultations on the budget.

Side Events

Day four of the 18th session of ASP began with the Coalition for the ICC’s event on “Strengthening the role of the International Criminal Court in the Asia-Pacific region: A discussion among Civil Society, States, and the ICC”. Civil society representatives from the Asia-Pacific region shared the challenges they face in their daily work and current situations of impunity and accountability efforts in the region.  The President of the Assembly of States Parties, Judge O-Gon Kwon, provided concluding remarks.

Liechtenstein, Canada, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, the Global Justice Center, the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect, the Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice together hosted an event on “Accountability for International Crimes Committed against Ethnic Minorities in Myanmar: Discussing Complementary Avenues for Justice”, while Africa Legal Aid (AFLA), Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ), the Netherlands, Uganda organized a discussion on “Justice for Victims of Rights Violations and Sexual Violence in The Gambia”.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission hosted a side-event to question, “What are the Prospects of Bringing Omar Al-Bashir to Justice?”, and France, Chile, Uruguay and REDRESS discussed “Seizing Illicit Assets for Reparations: Challenges and Opportunities” in their event. 

Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Renaissance Foundation and the Ukrainian Legal Advisory Group (ULAG) hosted a discussion on “Accountability for Grave Crimes: the ICC and Complementarity Options for Ukraine”, and eyeWitness to Atrocities, TRIAL International and WITNESS organized an event entitled "Is a picture worth a conviction? The impact of audiovisual evidence in the prosecution of international crimes – a success story from the Democratic Republic of Congo”.

France organized the “Lancement de la seconde édition de l’ouvrage: «Statut de Rome de la Cour pénale internationale, commentaire article par article en français”, and along with Senegal and the ICC, hosted an event on “Rights of Detainees before the International Criminal Court”. 

The Netherlands and the National Commission for Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of Congo (CNDH) held a “Panel d’échanges sur l’éthique dans les enquêtes sur les crimes relevant de la compétence de la Cour pénale internationale”.

Corporación Humanas (Colombia), Sisma Mujer (Colombia), Colombia Diversa (Colombia), MUSONET (Malí) jointly organized an event on “Impunidad y deudas históricas de acceso a la justicia para mujeres y personas LGBT víctimas de violencia sexual y persecución / Impunité et dettes historiques sur l’accès à la justice pour les femmes et les personnes LGBT qui sont victimes de violences sexuelles et de persécution”.

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

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