ICC ASP15 : Political support without financial backing endangers victims rights

Press release
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(The Hague, Paris) The 15th session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the ICC Statute ended on 24 November in The Hague. FIDH welcomes the fact that, during ASP open debates, no further withdrawals from the ICC Statute were announced. However, even if most States outwardly expressed their political support for the Court, this was not followed by the allocation of adequate funds for the ICC to effectively fulfil its mandate.

"We deeply regret that States refused to adopt the ICC’s already limited requested budget, which limits its ability to effectively undertake its activities with the required flexibility and independence. This may impact the possibility for the Court to open new investigations and to bring cases to trial in the context of ongoing investigations, as well as to respond to the need for a greater field presence."

Guissou Jahangiri, FIDH Vice-President

States Parties were given the opportunity to express their concerns and raise concrete proposals during several plenary sessions at the 15th ASP, including a session dedicated to "ICC and Africa". Numerous African States (including Burkina Faso, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) called for an open and transparent debate, while expressing their support for the ICC as an important tool for victims of international crimes to see justice delivered, whoever the perpetrator.

FIDH welcomes the ASP’s expressed concern in the final omnibus resolution adopted on 24 November, regarding the threats and intimidations directed at civil society organisations cooperating with the ICC. Strong language is particularly needed as this ASP witnessed renewed and direct threats against a Kenyan human rights activist from a member of the Kenyan delegation during a side event on the protection of human rights defenders.

"It is the first time that the Assembly of States Parties has recognised the concrete dangers human rights defenders working on ICC issues are exposed to in their respective countries and in The Hague. However, a stronger stance should be taken in light of recent publicly expressed threats."

Shawan Jabarin, FIDH Secretary General

For more information, consult:
- FIDH storify on #ASP15
- CICC non-paper "Victims to lose out with states’ double-standard on ICC budget
- FIDH speech delivered by FIDH Vice-President Guissou Jahangiri, during ASP15 general debate
- FIDH recommendations to the ICC ASP15
- VRWG recommendations to the ICC ASP 15

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