States Parties should fiercely and collectively commit to and support the ICC against threats to international justice

Press release
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© Massoud Hossaini

(The Hague, Paris) The 17th session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will commence on 5 December 2018 in The Hague. In a context of serious attacks on multilateralism and international justice mechanisms, ICC States Parties must strongly condemn threats to those working towards accountability for international crimes, as well as defend a properly resourced International Criminal Court that grants victims a central role as stipulated by its founding treaty. An FIDH delegation from all regions of the world, comprised of human rights defenders and headed by FIDH Secretary General Shawan Jabarin, will be actively participating in this high-level one-week gathering and convey its recommendations on five key priorities for this year’s ASP.

“The threats against the Court expressed in the past months by various States, most notably by the US administration, are of serious concern. If they aim at discrediting the Court, for being a glimmer of hope of accountability for international crimes committed in specific conflict situations such as Afghanistan and Palestine, they risk undermining the Court and the whole international justice system. It is now time for States to reaffirm their commitment to defend the world’s greatest achievement in the field of international justice, the first and only international, permanent and independent criminal court mandated to end impunity for the most serious crimes worldwide."

Shawan Jabarin, FIDH Secretary General

The upcoming session of the ASP will conclude a year of reflections and stocktaking on the work of the Court and the challenges it continues to face twenty years after the adoption of its founding treaty. [1] For FIDH, States Parties should publicly express their commitments and take the appropriate decisions concerning five key issues:

- 1. Defending the integrity of the ICC Statute, publicly denouncing all attacks against the Court’s legitimacy and independence;
- 2. Ensuring cooperation and addressing non-cooperation of States Parties with the ICC;
- 3. Allowing the Court the budget it needs to carry out its mandate;
- 4. Upholding and strengthening the central position of victims in the ICC Statute, promoting meaningful participation and legal representation of victims;
- 5. Launching a merit-based search and vetting process for the next Prosecutor of the ICC.

On the occasion of this important institutional momentum, FIDH will also organise a series of side events (see below) and issue in addition to this position paper two reports, assessing the state of and the way forward regarding accountability for sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) at the ICC and beyond, as well as taking stock of the implementation of victims’ right to participate at the ICC and the way forward to render it more meaningful to victims.

Attend our side-events at #ASP17 :

- Investigating and Prosecuting for Sexual and Gender Based Crimes at the ICC and Beyond, (co-hosted by FIDH & Canada), 5 December 2018, 13:15-14:45, Venue: ‘Everest 1&2’ meeting room.
- “From Bemba to Rombhot: Reflections & Perspectives for the ICC in the Central African Republic”, 6 December 2018, 13:15-14:45, Venue: ‘Antartica’ meeting room.
- Victims at the Heart of Justice: Reflections on Victims’ Participation at the ICC, (co-hosted by FIDH, the United Kingdom and the State of Palestine), 11 December 2018, 13:15-14:45, Venue: ‘Oceania 2’ meeting room.

- "Victims’ Participation in ICC Proceedings: Examining the Role of Counsel" (co-hosted by Chile, Opens Society Initiative for Eastern Africa, Trust Africa, Victim’s Support Initiative, and FIDH), 6 December 2018, 13:15-14:45, Venue: Everest 1&2 meeting room.
- "Challenges and Prospects on the ICC’s Horizon: Afghanistan, Myanmar and More" (co-hosted by ABA and FIDH), 6 December 2018, 13:00-15:00, Venue: Africa Room
- "Listening to victims from Afghanistan: Views of Afghan society on the ICC and the pease process" (co-hosted by the Transitional Justice Coordination Group-Afghanistan, FIDH and HRW), 7 December 2018, 13:15-14:45, Venue: Yangtze
- "Drug-trafficking, Public Policy and Crimes Against Humanity: Discussing the situations in Mexico, the Philippines and Colombia" (co-hosted by Comision Mexicana de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos and FIDH), 7 December 2018, 13:00-15:00, Venue: Antartica Room

Join us and follow us on Twitter: @fidh_en, @fidh_fr, @AmalNassar_, @Karine_Bonneau_, @D_Carlens

Read FIDH Position paper for ASP17:

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