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Resumed ASP 8: Informal Daily Summary - Tuesday, 23 March 2010
23 Mar 2010
From 22 to 25 March 2010, representatives from each of the now 110 ICC member
states gather, with observer states, NGOs and other participants to finalize
preparations for the first Review Conference of the Rome Statute.
The Review Conference will be held in Kampala (Uganda) from 31 May to 11 June
2010. As in other sessions, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court
(CICC) will be actively participating in the resumed eighth ASP session.
This message includes a short summary of developments in the resumed ASP morning
session (I) and afternoon session (II), side events (III); related documents
(IV) and information on the press briefing organized by the CICC at the United
Nations Headquarters (V).
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To view photographs from the ASP meetings, visit:
Please note that official ASP documents can be found on the ICC website at:
All documents produced by the CICC are available on the CICC website at:
http://iccnow.org/?mod=asp8 and http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/?mod=review
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need further information.
I. MORNING SESSION
1. Plenary - Informal Consultations
Informal consultations on stocktaking took place with discussions on the high
level - ministerial - declaration and the issue of pledges. The Review
Conference Focal Points also circulated a draft resolution on the Review
Conference that reflects the discussions and outcome of the Resumed Session and
preparations thus far in preparation for the Review Conference, including
reference to the stocktaking background papers and draft resolutions as well as
a call for a high level declaration.
2. Ministerial Declaration
The duly appointed Focal Point on the high level declaration (Mexico) briefed
the ASP on the issues that could be contained in the declaration, as well as its
layout and the procedure, which would include in particular reaffirmation of the
commitments of States Parties to the Rome Statute, reference to the stocktaking
exercise and pledges by States Parties as to how they intend strengthen the Rome
Peru and The Netherlands as Focal Points for Pledges described how both
Non-States and States Parties could commit to the Rome Statute and the Court
through pledges that could be voluntarily expressed. The Focal Points stated
that they would put together a list of pledges that States Parties, working with
NGOs, could commit to, but would be willing to receive recommendations for any
potential pledges that could be included in the prospective list. A deadline of
14 May was imposed for States to submit their pledges, which the Focal Points
emphasized could be done in the context of stocktaking in general, but was of
particular importance to the cooperation exercise.
The Focal Points for Cooperation, Costa Rica and Ireland briefed the ASP on the
background paper and the discussions thus far. The Focal Points, while not
ruling out the possibility, indicated that they had avoided proposing a draft
resolution or declaration in which to codify outcomes as indicated in the Focal
Points background paper, choosing instead to wait to see how discussions would
progress with respect to the draft resolutions introduced in the complementarity
and victims and affected communities issues. The Focal Points also indicated
that they would explore other means of carrying forward the outcomes such as
using the high level declaration or report on pledges. As to the format of
discussions, the Focal Points stated that there would be two interactive
discussions on each of the "cluster" of topics, with two panelists in each
case. States Parties voiced their support for the Focal Points efforts, with
some voicing support for the issuance of a resolution to capitalize on
discussions at the Review Conference. There was also discussion on the
relationship of Articles 27 and 98, which had been requested by the DRC on
behalf of the African Union to be included as a specific topic at the Review
The complementarity focal points provided a brief overview of their background
paper as the road map for discussions at the Review Conference. The Focal Points
referring to the proposed program for discussions that had been distributed
previously indicated that they were still in the process of finalizing their
list of speakers, but would make provision for the participation of civil
society. Discussions were dominated by debates over the draft resolution
proposed by the focal points, with a vocal minority expressing doubt as to the
need for a resolution. Several States Parties, however, expressed support for
the issuance of such a resolution. A draft taking into account suggestions
expressed by States Parties will be circulated on the final day of the Resumed
Session for further discussion.
6. Belgium Proposal
As a follow up to the draft amendments of war crimes proposed at the ASP in
November 2009, the Belgium delegation presented specific 'elements of crimes'
which would correspond to the draft amendments of war crimes that the Assembly
already forwarded to the Review Conference. The proposed elements of crimes are
exactly the same elements of crimes as those approved for the corresponding war
crimes in the context of an international armed conflict.
II. AFTERNOON SESSION
During the afternoon session, the Review Conference Working Group met to discuss
the Crime of Aggression under the facilitation of H. R. H. Prince Zeid Ra'ad
Zeid Al-Hussein. Discussions continued to focus on the two questions presented
by the facilitator in his non paper: 1) Should the Court only initiate an
investigation where the alleged aggressor State has (one way or another)
accepted jurisdiction over the crime of aggression or should the victim states
acceptance suffice for this purpose? and, 2) Should the UN Security Council be
the decisive jurisdictional filter for a case to proceed within the ICC or could
there be another additional jurisdictional filter or no filter at all?
Furthermore, the Chair performed a roll-call of the delegations present in the
room based on four preliminary variations of the different scenarios arising
from the two questions raised above. While there were still different
preferences voiced during the debate, there was strong affirmation of a
continued commitment to work towards a compromise solution.
In parallel to the discussions on the Crime of Aggression informal consultations
continued on the draft Complementarity resolution as well as on the draft
resolution on the Impact of the Rome Statute system on victims and affected
III. SIDE EVENTS
1. Joint event organized by NPWJ, UCICC and HURINET-U, sponsored by the Ugandan
Mission to the UN.
The Permanent Mission of Uganda sponsored a briefing on the delegates' visits to
Uganda that were organized by NPWJ, the Ugandan Coalition for the ICC and
HURINET-U over the past 2 months.
Delegates from Finland, Chile, DRC, Kenya and Denmark shared their experiences
and impressions from the visits.
2. DOMAC also held a meeting on the "Interaction between national and
international courts in prosecuting mass atrocity crimes".
IV. RELATED DOCUMENTS
1. "'Include the defence perspective in the Review Conference discussions', IBA
urges delegates attending the resumed session of the 8th Assembly of States
Parties in New York," Press release, International Bar Association, 23 March
"The International Bar Association (IBA) today calls on States Parties attending
the resumed session of the 8th Assembly of States Parties (ASP) in New York, to
ensure that the defence perspective is fully included in the planning and
deliberations for the International Criminal Court (ICC) Review Conference,
scheduled for 31 May to 11 June in Kampala, Uganda. The resumed session of the
ASP is expected to finalise the agenda and logistical arrangements for the
The Review Conference is mandated to consider a limited number of amendments to
the Rome Statute, including agreeing a definition for the crime of aggression.
The Conference is also expected to conduct a 'stocktaking' of the Rome Statute
system, with particular emphasis on four key areas: peace and justice; the
impact of the ICC on victims and affected communities; complementarity; and
The IBA fully supports the thematic issues selected for the stocktaking
discussion at the Review Conference and welcomes the draft papers prepared by
the ASP focal points responsible for facilitating preparations for the
stocktaking sessions. However, the IBA considers that a complete and credible
assessment of the progress of the Rome Statute system, in particular on issues
such as complementarity and cooperation would be incomplete if the defence
perspective is not fully included.
As IBA Executive Mark Ellis notes, 'The strength of the Rome Statute system is
its respect for the rights of both victims and defendants. It would be a crucial
oversight to exclude defence-specific matters in the Review Conference
discussions. For example, while encouraging States to implement legislation to
prosecute Rome Statute crimes at the national level consistent with the
complementarity principle, it is important to stress that such legislation must
reflect the fair trial standards embodied in the Rome Statute.'
The IBA therefore urges States Parties' representatives attending the resumed
session to ensure that preparatory documents contain specific reference to
matters of concern to the defence. Panellists selected for the stocktaking
sessions should also include persons with notable experience on defence matters.
During the Review Conference itself, ministerial statements, resolutions and
pledges should demonstrate States' commitment and attention to this important
Additional IBA recommendations for defence-related issues that may be
specifically included in the Review Conference stocktaking discussions are
compiled in a position paper entitled Involving the Defence in the Review
V. CICC PRESS BRIEFING AT THE UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
On 23 March 2010 at 1 p.m., the Coalition for the International Criminal Court
(CICC) briefed members of the media on pressing issues to being debated at the
resumed eighth session of the ASP, and in particular on preparations for the May
2010 Review Conference.
Participants included: Cecilia Nilsson, Head of the CICC Legal Section and of
the Hague Office (moderator); Mohammed Ndifuna, Executive Director of Human
Rights Network -Uganda, who introduced civil society and victims' organizations
initiatives around the Review Conference; and David Donat Cattin, Director of
the International Law and Human Rights Programme at Parliamentarians for Global
Action (PGA), who presented issues related to the crime of aggression and
article 124 of the Rome Statute.
The Press Conference can be viewed at:
If you have difficulties accessing the file, Real Player can be downloaded at
Read our media advisory:
1. "CONFÉRENCE DE PRESSE DE LA COALITION POUR LA COUR PÉNALE INTERNATIONALE
(CCPI) SUR LA REPRISE DE SESSION DE L'ASSEMBLÉE DES ÉTATS PARTIES AU STATUT DE
ROME," UN News Service, 23 March 2010,
2. "Analizan perseguir "crímenes de agresión" en Corte Internacional," El
Financiero (Mexico), 24 March 2010,
3. " El crimen de agresión centra los preparativos de la revisión del Tratado de
Roma," EPA, 24 March 2010,
and http://www.abc.es/agencias/noticia.asp?noticia=321429 (Spanish)
4. "Press Conference on Resumed Session of Assembly of State Parties to Rome
Statute of International Criminal Court," Media Newswire, 24 March 2010,