Civil society addresses the ICC Assembly of States Parties during the ASP21 General Debate

21st session of the Assembly of States Parties 2022, The Hague, The Netherlands 

6 December 2022 

The General Debate concluded on Tuesday, 7 December 2022, with civil society taking the floor after ICC member states, observer states, international organizations and the International Criminal Court Bar Association delivered their statements.

States Parties speaking today addressed the following topics, among others: the Review of the ICC; the importance of providing the Court with sufficient resources for it to execute its mandate; the need to elect the most highly qualified officials in merit-based elections; political support to the Court; the need for effective cooperation; universality; and the essential role of civil society and human rights defenders.

All statements by States during this second session of the General Debate can be found in written and/or video format on the ASP website.

Following the conclusion of statements by ICC States Parties, the following states that are not parties to the ICC Rome Statute took the floor (in order of delivery): United States, Iran, China and Cuba, in their capacity as observers to the Assembly. Their statements were followed by the International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, and a representative from the International Criminal Court Bar Association. 

Civil Society addresses the ICC Assembly of States Parties

Civil society addressed the plenary for the final segment of the General Debate. The Coalition's Secretariat Director, Deborah Ruiz Verduzco, opened the civil society segment by sharing three key priorities that the Coalition’s Secretariat has for this ASP session: the need for States Parties to provide a sustainable and needs-based ICC budget; the importance to set a permanent vetting process for all ICC and ASP elections to elect the highest qualified candidates based on national public, transparent and merit-based processes; and the need to support and protect civil society and human rights defenders that are working to advance accountability and cooperating with the ICC.

The Coalition for the ICC was followed by: a group of Libyan NGOs; Colombia Diversa; No Peace Without Justice (joint statement on behalf of Al-Haq, Human Rights Watch, the International Federation for Human Rights, Parliamentarians for Global Action and the Ukrainian Legal Advisory Group); the Philippine Coalition for the ICC, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (joint statement also on behalf of Al-Haq and Al Mezan), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Afghanistan Organization for Development of Human Rights, the Ukrainian Legal Advisory Group (on behalf of the Ukraine 5am Coalition), and two video statements by the African Francophone Coalitions for the ICC and the Georgian Coalition for the ICC.

Side/other events

Tuesday also saw a large number of side events, two of which were co-organized by the Coalition for the ICC.

The first event was “What will it take to make victims’ rights meaningful at the ICC?” a discussion organized with Ireland, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and REDRESS that focused on the central role that victims must have in the Rome Statute system.

The second event was on “Vetting for all ICC elections,” organized with Human Rights Watch and the Global Justice Center and co-sponsored by Austria, Colombia, and Serbia. During the event, States Parties representatives, representatives from the ICC Staff Union Council and the ICC Independent Oversight Mechanism, civil society, and other experts all discussed next steps on the development of a permanent vetting process for ICC and ASP elections. Participants explored the ways in which they can ensure the permanent process is safe, transparent and comprehensive.  

To know more about vetting, visit our dedicated webpage.

The full list of side events that took place today and those programmed for the upcoming days can be found here.

Follow ASP21:

-Our webpage on the Assembly of States Parties 2022 with all #ASP21 daily summaries, recommendations from civil society and other ASP21 resources.  

-Follow all the action on our Twitter account: @ngos4justice