States must reaffirm their will to support the International Criminal Court

The seventh session of the Assembly of States parties (ASP) to the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is taking place from 14 to 22 November 2008 in The Hague, in the presence of the 108 States parties, observatory States and an important number of NGOs.

During this session, the Assembly of States parties will adopt the budget for 2009, which will have important implications on the definition of priorities and activities of the ICC. It will also consider the definition of the crime of agression as crime under the jurisdiction of the ICC, discuss the preparation of the Review conference, and concentrate, among other issues, on the evaluation of the Trust Fund for Victims’ activities.

During this year, marking the 10th anniversary of the ICC Statute, the Court experienced important developments and faced numerous challenges: the suspension of proceedings against Congolese Thomas Lubanga, the request of an arrest warrant against a sitting head of State,
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, the arrest of former Congolese Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba, the non-execution of other arrest warrants concerning Sudan, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the effective implementation of the right of victims to participate in proceedings before the ICC and the carrying out by the Trust Fund for Victims of 34 projects of assistance to victims.

« We call upon all States parties to reinforce their political, legal and financial support to the ICC. Their cooperation is an essential condition for the effective implementation of the Rome Statute and of the decisions of the ICC », said Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President.

FIDH, present during this session of the ASP, submitted its recommendations to the ASP. FIDH also delivered a speech at the opening of the session of the ASP, available on the FIDH website.

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