What happened at ASP20?

Coalition for the ICC
The 20th session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the ICC Rome Statute (ASP20) was held between 6 - 10 December 2021, with limited in-person participation in The Hague, The Netherlands.   

Key decisions at ASP20

  • States Parties adopted the ICC budget for 2022 of €154,855,000. While this represents an increase of €6,596,000 over the approved 2021 budget, or an increase of 4.4%, it is less than the amount requested by the Court (€162,346,000), as well as the amount recommended  by the ASP’s Committee on Budget and Finance, its independent expert body charged with reviewing the court’s proposed budget (€155,564,900).
  • States Parties agreed to continue consultations together with the Court and civil society to develop a vetting process for all elected ICC officials, with a view to adoption of such a process no later than the 22nd session of the ASP in 2023.
  • The Assembly also extended the mandate of the Review Mechanism and agreed to continue in 2022 with the assessment and where appropriate, implementation of recommendations of the Independent Expert Review (IER).
  • States Parties again addressed threats directed at the ICC, its officials and those cooperating with it and they reiterated in a resolution their commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and to preserve its integrity undeterred by any threats or measures, “united against impunity.”
  • The Assembly adopted, in total, five resolutions: resolutions on cooperation, the budget, the review process, and outcomes related to the work of its Study Group on Governance, as well as its annual omnibus resolution.



On 10 December, States Parties elected Mame Mandiaye Niang and Nazhat Shameen Khan as Deputy Prosecutors, by secret ballot. In advance of this election, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan submitted a shortlist of six candidates.

Five members of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims  were elected for three-year terms starting 7 December 2021: Sheikh Mohammed Belal (Bangladesh); Kevin Kelly (Ireland); Andres Parmas (Estonia); Minerva Josefina Tarávez Mirabal (Dominican Republic) and Ibrahim Sorie Yillah (Sierra Leone).

Four ASP Bureau Members were elected based on previously agreed seat-sharing agreements: Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea for 2022 - 2023 (from 13 February 2022), and Bangladesh for 2023.

Nine members of the Advisory Committee on Nominations (ANC) were elected for a three-year term starting on 9 December 2021: Dennis Dominic Adjei (Ghana);  Julian Fernandez (France); Lucy Muthoni  Kambuni (Kenya); Milica Kolaković-Bojović (Serbia); Erkki Kourula (Finland); Sanji Mmasenono Monageng (Botswana);  Mauro Politi (Italy); Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé (Bolivia) and Sang-Hyun Song, (Republic of Korea).


Opening session  and General Debate

ASP President Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi opened the session, highlighting her priorities for the Assembly, including the ongoing Review of the International Criminal Court and Rome Statute System, increasing political support for the ICC and universal ratification of the Rome Statute, as well as attention to victims’ issues and the Trust Fund for Victims. ICC President Judge Piotr Hofmański, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, Mama Koité Doumbia also addressed the opening of the session.

Over two days, 62 states parties addressed the Assembly during the General Debate through pre-recorded video, in-person or written statements. Statements were also made by States that are not party to the Rome Statute: China, Cuba, Iran and United States of America.

The Coalition for the ICC's Acting Convenor, Melinda Reed, opened the civil society segment of this year’s General Debate by underscoring the challenges that civil society organizations and human rights defenders continue to face in their work for justice. Further, she reiterated the CICC Election Team’s position on the establishment of a permanent vetting mechanism, as well as key recommendations made by  the CICC Review Team, including that the process ensures genuine and meaningful participation of civil society, particularly from situation countries and countries under preliminary examination. Coalition members from Burundi, Mexico, Palestine, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ukraine as well as a number of international NGOs spoke (see all statements).


Plenary Sessions on Cooperation and Review

The Cooperation plenary, a standing agenda item at ASP sessions, focused on the issues of voluntary cooperation, in particular for the enforcement of sentences, release of persons and the relocation of witnesses. The session also touched on financial investigations, the identification and freezing of assets, and the relevance, in that context, of the establishment of a network of operational focal points. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch intervened during the session.

During the plenary on the Review of the International Criminal Court and Rome Statute System, thirteen States Parties took the floor to reflect on the ongoing review process and the work of the Review Mechanism. Deputy Prosecutor James Stewart, a Court-appointed focal point on the ongoing review process, additionally made remarks on behalf of the Court, as well as a representative from the Staff Union Council.  The statement delivered on behalf of the Coalition’s Review Team highlighted a number of the Team’s key priority areas, further recalling that the Court remains the ultimate decision-maker on issues under its purview that go to the heart of its judicial and prosecutorial independence. Human Rights Watch, highlighted IER recommendation 363, which calls for the organization of a conference for key stakeholders to engage on the strategic vision for the Court for the next ten years.


#NGOVoices close ASP20

The Coalition for the ICC delivered a statement before the closing of the session, highlighting the many challenges faced by civil society in participating at ASP20, and recalling that victims and affected communities should be at the centre of the Court’s work. Acting Convenor Melinda Reed called on the Assembly to continue to defend and protect human rights defenders who are targeted because of their work to advance justice.

The Assembly decided that the next session of the ICC ASP will take place from 5–10 December 2022 in The Hague.


Further resources