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Informal Daily Summary from the ASP: Friday, 20 November 2009
20 Nov 2009
I. DAILY SUMMARY OF THIRD ASP DAY
On 20 November 2009, the morning session of the ASP was dedicated to the closure of the general debate with statements by 5 States Parties, 5 non-States Parties and 6 NGOs.
The following States Parties made statements: Burkina Faso,
>From 3 - 4 p.m., the Working Group on the Review Conference discussed procedural aspects leading to the Review conference.
>From 4 - 6 p.m., the Working Group on Budget opened with presentations
>by the ICC Registrar Silvana Arbia and CBF Chair Santiago Wins. States
>delegates then made general pronouncements on the budget. Finally,
>Jonathan O'Donohue (AI) presented the views of the CICC Team on Budget
>and Finance. The Team’s paper is available at:
b. SIDE EVENTS
Asia and Pacific Governments and NGOs exchanged views to strategize on ratification and implementation in the region, during a lunch meeting chaired by Evelyn Serrano, CICC Asia and Pacific Coordinator.
A roundtable on positive complementarity was co-hosted by Human Rights Watch and the Governments of Denmark and South Africa with the participation of NGOs and governments.
The International Criminal Court presented its 2009 outreach report with the attendance of States, NGOs and the media. A video was shown and a keynote speech was delivered by ICC Registrar Silvana Arbia, as well as by Head of the Public Information and Documentation Section (PIDS) Sonia Robla. This was followed by an open discussion with head of the Outreach unit Claudia Perdomo as well as all ICC field offices outreach coordinators.
In the evening, Japan chaired an informal consultation on its contribution paper to the 2010 review Conference, with NGOs, ICC officials and States.
The International Bar Association (IBA) organized a reception with ICC officials, States and NGOs entitled “Making the ICC Work”. ICTY Judge Kimberley Prost delivered remarks emphasizing the need for cooperation and the adoption of implementing legislation. IBA representatives Liliana De Marco Coenen and Lorraine Smith presented the two latest IBA ICC Outreach and Monitoring Reports available at: http://www.ibanet.org/Human_Rights_Institute/ICC_Outreach_Monitoring/ICC_IBA_Publications.aspx
Throughout the day, NGOs had the opportunity to exchange views with ICC officials during informal meetings with the Victims Participation and Reparations Section (VPRS), the Outreach Unit of the Public Information and Documentation Section (PIDS) and the Office of the Prosecutor.
II. STATEMENTS AND MEDIA ADVISORIES
i. NGO statements to the ASP general debate are posted at: http://coalitionfortheicc.org/?mod=asp8
ii. “IBA says States Parties must lead the way in strengthening and sustaining the ICC,” News Release, International Bar Association, 20 November 2009, http://coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/IBA_ASP8_statement.pdf
”In a report issued today, the International Bar Association (IBA) urges States Parties to the Rome Statute to take the lead in supporting and reinforcing the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Rome Statute system. The IBA notes that while the ICC must continue striving to fulfil its mandate, States can and should do more to support the Court in order to realise the Rome Statute’s vision of ending impunity for egregious crimes.
The report from the IBA/ICC Monitoring and Outreach Programme, Sustaining the International Criminal Court: Issues for consideration at the 2010 Review Conference and beyond, examines some of the challenges facing the ICC as preparations advance for the 2010 Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda. The IBA views the 2010 Review Conference as an important opportunity for States Parties to reiterate their unwavering commitment to the Court. The report highlights a number of components critical to sustaining the Court and ensuring its long-term success: robust governance and internal coordination; the cooperation of States Parties; and effective and efficient judicial proceedings.
Mark Ellis, IBA Executive Director, said: ‘The signing of the Rome Statute was a landmark in the pursuit of international justice. The ICC has made great progress and is now a fully functioning institution; however, there remain a number of significant internal and external hurdles for the Court to overcome. The 2010 Review Conference offers a unique opportunity for States Parties to reaffirm their commitment to the ICC, and provide leadership in achieving the objectives of the Rome Statute.’
The IBA report makes a number of findings and recommendations concerning the challenges at the Court, the role of States Parties and the Review Conference including:
• There is an overlap in the respective management roles of the Assembly of States Parties and the Presidency of the Court. An effective mechanism needs to be devised for addressing disputed administrative or governance issues and care must be taken to ensure that policy decisions of the Assembly do not undermine judicial independence.
• Lack of internal coordination remains a challenge for the Court; there is a need for consistent dialogue between different organs of the ICC and genuine commitment to the ‘One Court’ principle, in order to ensure efficiency at the Court.
• The Assembly of States Parties must urgently address the reluctance of certain States to fully cooperate with the Court, particularly on matters relating to the defence. The IBA supports the establishment of a Working Group on Cooperation that is mandated to address specific challenges related to cooperation between the Court and States.
• While the Court must continue to strive for effective and efficient judicial proceedings, States Parties must also ensure that the Court is given the necessary resources to carry out its mandate.
• The success of the 2010 Review Conference will largely depend on effective advanced preparation as well as strong political support from States Parties. States should therefore set a realistic agenda of issues to be discussed at the Review Conference, allowing sufficient time for both specific amendments and a stocktaking of the Court’s performance. There should also be a mechanism for following up on the issues raised during the Conference.
Click here to download the report Sustaining the International Criminal Court: Issues for consideration at the 2010 Review Conference and beyond from the IBA website at: http://www.ibanet.org/Document/Default.aspx?DocumentUid=3c77c783-4ee1-4eb8-bd28-8b0b80c6a1f2 ...”
iii. “Eighth session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute begins its general debate,” International Criminal Court, Media Advisory, ICC-ASP-20091119-PR476, 19 November 2009, http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/exeres/4198A6BA-A9D6-479E-9266-120D0A0D9E34.htm
“On the first day of the general debate, 38 States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court addressed the Assembly on different issues including, in particular, issues to be dealt with at the Review Conference, such as the inclusion of the crime of aggression in the Rome Statute, the stocktaking exercise on international criminal justice, and other proposed amendments to the Rome Statute.
Delegations stressed the importance of the cooperation of States and regional organizations to the continued work of the Court, as well as the need for enhancing domestic judicial systems so as to ensure such cooperation. Reference was made to advancing towards universality of the Statute and supporting the participation of victims in the proceedings and the work carried out by the Trust Fund for Victims.
Other issues included discussions of the proposed budget for 2010 and the institutional framework of the Court, including the establishment of an independent oversight mechanism pursuant to article 112, paragraph 4, of the Rome Statute.
The Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of Uganda, Hon. Frederick Ruhindi, as the host country of the Review Conference, scheduled to begin on 31 May 2010, informed the Assembly that Uganda was actively working to ensure that civil society would fully participate in the Conference which would include a ‘Peoples’ Space’ at the venue in order to provide a forum for interaction between civil society and other stakeholders.
The Minister of Justice of the Netherlands, Dr. E.M.H Hirsch Ballin, as the host State of the Court, pointed out that the Netherlands, was determined to facilitate its smooth and efficient functioning. In this connection, he also stressed the continued support provided by the Netherlands to the Court.
Delegations from non-States Parties and representatives from international organizations and non-governmental organizations also addressed the meeting.
For the first time, a delegation of the United States participated in the Assembly as an Observer. In his statement to the Assembly, Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, Mr. Stephen J. Rapp, highlighted the Obama Administration’s commitment to the rule of law and the principle of accountability in line with the United States’ tradition of support for international criminal justice.
Statements of States can be found shortly at the following address: http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ASP/Sessions/General+Debate/ ...”
III. MEDIA COVERAGE
i. “ICC member-states summit opens, agrees on work format,” By Francis Obinor (The Guardian), 20 November 2009, http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/africa/article01/indexn2_html?pdate=201109&ptitle=ICC member states summit opens, agrees on work format
“The eighth session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court ("the Assembly") has opened at the World Forum Convention Centre in The Hague. The Assembly of States Parties has also agreed on the organisation of work.
An official of the court, Suzan Khan, informed The Guardian yesterday that the President of the Assembly, Mr. Christian Wenaweser, permanent representative of Liechtenstein to the United Nations, opened the session, which would last until November 26.
Since the second resumption of the seventh session in February 2009, two States, namely Chile and the Czech Republic, have become Parties to the Rome Statute, bringing the total number of States Parties to 110.
… According to Khan, the Assembly at its first plenary meeting adopted its agenda for the session and agreed on the organisation of work. The main issues for consideration by the Assembly, she added, include continuing the discussions on the Review Conference of the Rome Statute, discussions on the proposed amendments to the Statute, consultations on the premises of the Court and the approval of the budget for 2010.
The proposals to amend the Rome Statute include: the incorporation of the use of particular weapons in the definition of war crimes in article 8 (Belgium), adding the employment of nuclear weapons or the threat to employ nuclear weapons to the definition of war crimes in article 8 (Mexico), the inclusion of the Crime of Terrorism within the Court's jurisdiction in article 5 (Netherlands), amending article 103 to include enforcement of sentences in a national prison facility or in a prison facility 2 made available to the State by an international or regional organisation, arrangement or agency, as provided in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (Norway), inserting the Crime of Aggression in article 8 bis (Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression), and the inclusion of the crime of international drug trafficking within the Court's jurisdiction in article 5 (Trinidad and Tobago and Belize).
The Assembly was addressed by the President of the Court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, the Prosecutor, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Registrar, Ms. Silvana Arbia, and Mr. Bulgaa Altangerel (Mongolia), a member of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims.
Khan said at the first plenary meeting, the following were elected as members of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims for a three year period: Mr. Bulgaa Altangerel (Mongolia), Ms. Betty Kaari Murungi (Kenya), Mr. Eduardo Pizarro Leong—mez (Colombia), Ms. Elisabeth Rehn (Finland), and Ms. Vaira Ve-Freiberga (Latvia). At the second plenary meeting, after six rounds of balloting, the Assembly filled two judicial vacancies with the election of Ms. Silvia Fern‡ndez de Gurmendi (Argentina) and Ms. Kuniko Ozaki (Japan), for a mandate that would end in March 2018.
The Assembly of States Parties is the management oversight and legislative body of the International Criminal Court. …”
ii. “Obama may put Americans under world judges' power,” by Michael Carl (WorldNetDaily), 19 November 2009, http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=116552