The Coalition for the ICC closes ASP19 in The Hague following adoption of resolutions for ICC 2021 budget and Strengthening the ICC and ASP

16 DECEMBER 2020

Day three of ASP19, the final day in The Hague, saw the adoption of six resolutions, including: the Resolution of the Assembly of States Parties on the proposed program budget for 2021; the Resolution on Cooperation; the Resolution on the remuneration of judges of the ICC; the Resolution on the procedure for adoption of decisions by the Assembly during the nineteenth session of the Assembly of States Parties of the Rome Statute owing to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic; the Resolution concerning a possible second resumption of the nineteenth session of the Assembly and the term of the current Bureau in relation thereto; and the Resolution on Strengthening the ICC and ASP (‘Omnibus Resolution’).

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.”

States continued informal consultations on a draft resolution regarding the review of the International Criminal Court and the Rome Statute system. This agenda item will remain open and will be discussed during the resumed session in New York. 

States considered the Court’s proposed budget request for 2021 (€144,917.2 million, excluding contributions to the host state loan for the court’s permanent premises). States approved a 2021 budget of €144,673.9 million, again excluding contributions to the host state loan. This is in line with the recommendations of the Committee on Budget and Finance, the Assembly’s expert body on budgetary matters. 

The approved 2021 budget represents a 0.7 percent decrease as compared to the program budget adopted for 2020. The Court justified its 2021 budget request with reference to the “exceptional circumstances presented by COVID-19” and the need to “demonstrate due sensitivity to the pressure on the global economy caused by COVID-19, balanced by the need to maintain the minimum resources necessary for the Court to conduct its essential operations and discharge its important mandate in 2021.” 

After the approval of the budget, Belgium, together with fourteen other states parties (Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Costa Rica, Finland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland), issued a statement calling for a budget in line with the needs of the Court and expressing concern about the liquidity situation of the Court, given delays in the receipt of state party assessments.

Resolutions will be available on the ASP website in due course. 



During the closing segment, the Coalition for the ICC urged the Assembly “to support, defend and protect human rights defenders and their work in service of the world’s most vulnerable people in 2021 and the years to come.”

Elizabeth Evenson of Human Rights Watch underscored, on behalf of Melinda Reed, CICC Acting Convenor, and the Coalition as a whole, that “the Coalition for the ICC stands ready to engage with you (the Assembly) and the Court, to share our vision, experience and expertise to seek solutions to make the system more fair, effective, independent, accessible and accountable.”

Read the full statement here 

Looking ahead, the 19th session of ASP will continue in a resumed session in New York on Thursday 17 December. At United Nations headquarters, States Parties are slated to elect six judges, ASP President, two Vice-Presidents, and 18 states to serve on the Bureau, and conclude any outstanding issues.