The Assembly of States Parties (ASP) meets in full plenary session at least once a year, in either New York or The Hague. Beyond from ICC states parties, non-states parties and representatives of international organizations, hundreds of NGO representatives from all parts of the world attend the ASP session.

States parties use the annual ASP meetings to discuss and take decisions upon issues of importance in relation to the functioning and success of the ICC and the Rome Statute system, whether in relation to the Court’s budget, cooperation, complementarity, or other issues. The outcome of these discussions is then formalized in ASP resolutions.

The ICC is dependent on states parties and can only exercise its mandate to the extent that they assist and reinforce the Court’s work. As such, ASP decisions not only affect states parties’ political will and cooperation, whether mandated or voluntary, but also the functioning of the Court itself.

During the eight days of session, the Coalition continues its advocacy for a fair, effective and independent Court by addressing a number of key issues through advocacy documents, letters, meetings, press briefings and other events. 

Topics the ASP decides on 

These are some of the topics the ASP decides on:

  • Universality of the Rome Statute
  • Agreement on Privileges and Immunities 
  • Cooperation 
  • Relationship between the ICC -  United Nations 
  • Relationship between the ICC - other international organizations and bodies 
  • Election of Judges  
  • Election of the Prosecutor 
  • Counsel 
  • Legal Aid 
  • Increasing the efficiency of the criminal process 
  • Strategic Planning
  • Victims and affected communities  
  • Trust Fund for Victims 
  • Geographical representation and gender balance of staff at the Court  
  • Complementarity  
  • Budget 
  • Amendments 
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General debate

Each year a general debate is organized to provide an opportunity for ASP participants to address issues relating to the Assembly’s work, and also to the wider Rome Statute system of international justice.

The Coalition has long encouraged states to take full advantage of this opportunity to express support for an end to impunity through the Rome Statute system, in addition to their taking formal position with respect to a variety of issues.

Civil society also takes part in the General Debate.

During the general debate, 10-12 NGOs deliver statements to raise their particular concerns before the Assembly, which is of great value when some topics of concern to civil society are not prominently featured – if at all – on the ASP session’s agenda.

NGOs can raise awareness about their own contributions and ability to assist interested states parties.

The points raised by civil society during the General Debate often inform the decision-making process of states parties throughout the rest of the Assembly session

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Civil society groups organize a large number of side-events during ASP sessions, creating a platform for dialogue between the participating NGOs on the one hand, and the Court and States Parties on the other.  

The consultative arrangements for NGOs with the ASP and the Court are extraordinary and this constructive cooperation is evident throughout the ASP sessions.  

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