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Informal Daily Summary from the ASP10: Monday, 12 December 2011
12 Dec 2011
Today, 12 December 2011, the tenth session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened in New York, USA. From 12-21 December 2011, representatives from each of the 119 ICC States that have ratified the Rome Statute are gathering to address and make decisions on numerous issues that are central to the Court's operations. The ASP is a pivotal event for the Coalition for the ICC, which has participated in ASP sessions for well over a decade. More than 150 NGO representatives are attending the tenth ASP to monitor key issues at stake, including the ICC budget, the judicial and prosecutorial elections, cooperation with the ICC, oversight mechanisms, among other issues. NGOs will contribute to discussions through side events, advocacy meetings, press conferences and the submission of position papers from the Coalition's issue-based teams.
This message includes a short summary of developments at the tenth ASP (I), as well as related documents (II) and news coverage (III).
The various papers produced by Coalition teams as well as individual members' recommendations to the ASP are available on the Coalition's website at: http://coalitionfortheicc.org/?mod=asp10
Official ASP documents and journals can be found on the ICC-ASP website at: http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ASP/Sessions/Documentation/10th+Session/Tenth+session+of+the+Assembly+of+States+Parties.htm
I. CICC ASP10 INFORMAL SUMMARY: MONDAY 12 DECEMBER 2011
A. PLENARY SESSION
On 12 December 2011, the tenth Assembly of States Parties opened with an introductory statement by Ambassador Christian Wenaweser (Liechtenstein), President of the ASP, followed by a minute of silent prayer or meditation, and finally the adoption of the agenda for the ASP session.
During the morning session, the Assembly elected Ambassador Tiina Intelman (Estonia) as the new President of the Assembly. She succeeds Ambassador Wenaweser and has been appointed for a three year term. Mr. Markus Börlin, Swiss Ambassador to the Netherlands and Mr. Ken Kanda, Ghanaian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) were elected as Vice-Presidents of the ASP.
The election of the 18 members of the ASP Bureau - the ASP's executive committee - was held during the morning session. 18 were elected as the new members of the Bureau for three-year terms. The new members come from the following states: Canada, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Samoa, Republic of Korea, Japan, Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Brazil, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Gabon, Republic of South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria.
The President of Botswana, Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, UN Deputy-Secretary General Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro and UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay addressed the Assembly. ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song also presented a Report on the activities of the Court. ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo then reported on the activities of his Office in the course of 2011. Ms. Elizabeth Rehn, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, addressed the Assembly. The speeches will be available online shortly on the website of the ASP: http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ASP/
Ambassador Intelman, the newly elected President of the Assembly, presented a report on the activities of the ASP Bureau. The 2011 Report on the activities of the Court is available at: http://icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/asp_docs/ASP10/ICC-ASP-10-39-ENG.pdf
The elections for the ASP’s Committee on Budget and Finance (CBF) – a subsidiary expert body set up to help the ASP with the budget - due to take place today, were temporarily postponed to allow states from the Africa group to come to agreement on a candidate to fill the sole position for the Africa group.
The Assembly then proceeded to the election by consensus of Ms. Fatou Bensouda (The Gambia) as new Chief Prosecutor of the ICC. She will assume the post on 16 June 2012.
The afternoon session of the ASP was dedicated to the election of six new judges of the ICC. After the withdrawal of the candidature by the Tunisian candidate, Ajmi BEL HAJ HAMOUDA, 18 candidates were left on the ballot. After the first round of balloting Miriam DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO (the Philippines) and Anthony Thomas Aquinas CARMONA (Trinidad and Tobago) were elected as ICC Judges. The remaining rounds of balloting are to take place tomorrow, 13 December 2011.
B. SIDE EVENTS
At lunch time, the new President of the ASP, Ambassador Tiina Intelman, and the new elected ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, gave a press conference.
The CICC organized—together with Poland (holding the rotating presidency in the Council of the European Union) and the European External Action Service (EEAS)—a Europe Regional Meeting with government delegates and members of civil society. Presentations were made by civil society representatives from Europe (Women Support Centre, Kyrgyzstan; Georgian Young Lawyers Association), Africa (the DRC Coalition for the ICC; International Commission of Jurists-Kenya), the Americas (Colombian Commission of Jurists; the Andean Commission of Jurists), Asia (Malaysian bar Association and Malaysian CICC; IMPARSIAL Indonesia and the Indonesian CICC), and Middle-East–North Africa (CICC MENA; Adaleh Centre for Human Rights, Jordan). Issues touched upon included Rome Statute ratification, cooperation, key ICC issues for the respective regions, EU support for civil society in regions, and the ICC budget for 2012, amongst others. A question and answers session ended the side-event.
In the afternoon, a side event on the Crime of Aggression, including the book launch of the “Travaux préparatoires of the Crime of aggression”, was hosted by the permanent mission of Liechtenstein, in collaboration with Cambridge University Press, the Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression, and Parliamentarian for Global Action.
An informal meeting by states parties was held on the Omnibus Resolution, “Strengthening the International Criminal Court.” States discussed paragraphs 17-25 of the Resolution, including suggested language on the Search Committee for the Prosecutor and on cooperation with the host state.
An event on “A complementarity-tool: assisting international criminal investigations - launch of a handbook for the international field worker as well as the occasional practitioner" was held during the afternoon, by Sweden and the Folke Bernadotte Academy. States parties delegates, the Swedish Foreign Ministry, the OTP, civil society representatives, were in attendance. The handbook has been developed in order to provide in order to provide non-lawyers in the field with the basic knowledge needed to correctly identify, gather and forward information on possible international crimes to international criminal courts and tribunals.
The Victims Rights Working Group also held a strategy meeting, discussing past achievements and future actions which may be undertaken. For more information on the work of the Group visit: http://www.vrwg.org
In the evening, the Permanent Mission of Sweden and the Trust Fund for Victims hosted a reception on the occasion of the tenth session of the Assembly of States Parties.
II. RELATED DOCUMENTS
A. NGO PAPERS AND STATEMENTS
1. CICC Team Papers and recommendations to the Tenth ASP, December 2011, http://coalitionfortheicc.org/?mod=asp10
2. Background Paper in Preparation for the Tenth ASP, CICC, 5 December 2011,
3. Tenth Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Statute of the International Criminal Court: A new era for international criminal justice, FIDH, 12 December 2011, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/article_PDF/article_a11051.pdf (English)
4. “IMPACT DE LA CPI EN REPUBLIQUE DEMOCRATIQUE DU CONGO ET L’APPORT DE L’UNION EUROPEENNE A L’OCCASION DE LA 10ème ASSEMBLEE DES ETATS PARTIES, NEW YORK (IMPACT OF THE ICC IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO AND THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ON THE OCCASION OF THE 10TH ASSEMBLY OF STATES PARTIES, NEW YORK),” CN-CPI RDC Press Release, 12 December 2011, http://coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/Impact_de_la_Cpi_en_Rdc.pdf
5. “THE IMPLEMENTATION OF VICTIMS’ RIGHTS BEFORE THE ICC Issues and Concerns Presented by the Victims’ Rights Working Group on the occasion of the 10th Session of the Assembly of States Parties 12 - 21 December 2011, VRWG, December 2011, http://coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/2011_VRWG_ASP10with_Annex.pdf
6. “Memorandum for the Tenth Session of the ICC ASP,” Human Rights Watch, 28 November 201, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/28/human-rights-watch-memorandum-tenth-session-international-criminal-court-assembly-st
7. “Recommendations to the Assembly of States Parties at its Tenth Session (12 to 21 December 2011), Amnesty International, http://coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/AI_ASP10_Recommendations_Paper.pdf
8. Position Paper of the International Criminal Bar”, 25 November 2011, http://coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/ICB_position_paper_final_version_EN(1).pdf
9. Intermediaries and the International Criminal Court: A Role for the Assembly of States Parties, Open Society Justice Initiative, December 2011, http://coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/Intermediaries-ICC-memo-OSJI-20111212.pdf
10. Challenges Facing the International Criminal Court: Recommendations to the Assembly of States Parties,” Open Society Justice Initiative, December 2011, http://coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/ASP-memo-20111212.pdf
11. “The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court - 9 Years On,” FIDH, 9 December 2011, http://fidh.org/The-Office-of-the-Prosecutor-of
12. "Fatou Bensouda - next Chief Prosecutor of the ICC," Media statement, Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice, 2 Dec 2011, http://www.iccwomen.org/documents/Statement_Bensouda_Prosecutor.pdf
13. "Election of the Prosecutor for the ICC: Review of the Process and Final Candidates," Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice, 29 Nov 2011, http://www.iccwomen.org/news/berichtdetail.php?we_objectID=133
14. "CICC Elections Team Q&A on the ICC Prosecutor Election," CICC, http://coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/CICC_Elections_Team__QandA_ICC_Prosecutor_Election_150911-1.pdf
15. "Report on International Criminal Court Judicial Elections 2011," Independent Panel on ICC Judicial Elections, 26 Oct 2011, http://www.iccindependentpanel.org/sites/default/files/Independent Panel on ICC Judicial Elections - Report 26 October 2011.pdf
B. OTHER DOCUMENTS
1. Latest version of the ASP Journal, 12-21 December 2011, http://icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/asp_docs/ASP10/ASP10-Journal-ENG.pdf
2. Newsletter of the ASP, December 2011, http://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/asp_docs/Publications/Newsletter-ASP-7-ENG-web.pdf
III. RELATED NEWS COVERAGE
1. “Podcast on the Assembly of States Parties,” IJ Central, 12 December 2011,
2. “Bensouda to be formally elected ICC prosecutor,” AFP, 12 December 2011, http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2011/12/bensouda-to-be-formally-elected-icc-prosecutor/
3. “Bensouda wasn’t best choice to take ICC forward in post-Ocampo era,” Daily Nation, 12 December 2011, http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/-/440808/1287422/-/mqdqqfz/-/
4. “Africa's Fatou Bensouda is new ICC chief prosecutor,” BBC, 12 December 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16029121
5. “ICC elects African as new chief prosecutor,” AFP, 12 December 2011, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5izw70x6i0piolErEQGszb-dl1L0A?docId=CNG.908b271c4ec03309357a9d96165f22d0.51
6. “Gambia's Bensouda is next international prosecutor,” Reuters, 12 December 2011, http://af.reuters.com/article/tanzaniaNews/idAFN1E7BB0IV20111212?sp=true
7. “Fatou Bensouda: a LADY FIT TO REPLACE MORENO-Ocampo,” Daily Monitor, 12 December 2011, http://www.monitor.co.ug/artsculture/Reviews/-/691232/1287838/-/item/0/-/p50xysz/-/index.html
8. “New ICC prosecutor Bensouda no stranger to justice,” AFP, 12 December 2011, http://www.expatica.com/nl/news/dutch-news/new-icc-prosecutor-bensouda-no-stranger-to-justice_195110.html
9. “Fatou Bensouda: The woman who might save the ICC in Africa,” Daily Maverick, 12 December 2011, http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2011-12-11-fatou-bensouda-the-woman-who-might-save-the-icc-in-africa
10. “Newsmaker - Gambia's Bensouda to counter ICC critics,” Reuters, 12 December 2011, http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE7BB23G20111212?sp=true
11. “Tiina Intelmann Becomes President of the Assembly of ICC,” ERR News, 12 December 2011, http://news.err.ee/politics/370f691a-4dd1-4dae-968d-5fc2ccfad37c
12. “Support for ending impunity for international crimes must grow – ICC,” UN News Centre, 12 December 2011, http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=40703&Cr=criminal+court&Cr1=
13. “Botswana president: Africa should defend ICC,” AP, 12 December 2011, http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=1785522