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FIDH Recommendations to the 16th Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute (4-14 Dec 2017)

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Paris, The Hague, 1 December 2017 - As States gather in New York from 4 to 14 December 2017 for the 16th session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the ICC Statute, the main question will remain: What future do States want for the International Criminal Court (ICC or the Court)? FIDH releases today a position paper with its recommendations to the ASP. The political body overseeing the ICC will have to decide whether it gives this international independent Court the means to carry out its mandate efficiently. This involves increasing its budget in line with the Court’s needs, notably to fulfill its commitment to victims’ participation in proceedings, witness protection, to carry out proper investigations and proceedings, but also cooperating with the ICC, in compliance with States Parties’ obligations.
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     D   e   c   e   m    b   e   r   2   0   1   7   /   N   °   7   0   7   a FIDH Recommendations to the 16th Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute   New York, 4-14 December 2017  Cover photo: ©MARCO LONGARI / AFP (Bujumbura/Burundi, 2/07/2015).  TABLE OF CONTENTS I. Introduction .....................................................................................................................................4II. An overview of ICC-related activities in 2017 ..........................................................................5III. Victims’ central position should be strengthened .................................................................81) Victims’ participation in the proceedings and legal aid ..............................................82) Reparations ..........................................................................................................................9IV. Challenges in witness interference and witness security .................................................11V. States Parties should adopt the proposed ICC Budget ......................................................13VI. States’ support and cooperation remain fundamental to the ICC ..................................151) Non-cooperation ...............................................................................................................152) Withdrawal .........................................................................................................................16VII. Discussion on the Crime of Aggression .............................................................................18VIII. Article 8 of the ICC Statute should be amended ..............................................................19 IX. Support human rights defenders working towards international justice and the fullment of the ICC’s mandate and implement necessary measures of protection .......................20X. Elections ......................................................................................................................................21 “There must be no turning back, no slowing up in our journey. Ending impunity is the solemn pledge we undertook. Let us full it so that when our grandchildren look back they are not haunted by new voices from killing elds yet to be named.”* - Ko Annan * Ko Annan, “Ko Annan addresses the First Review Conference of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court”, 31 May 2010, available at: http://www.koannanfoundation.org/speeches/ko-annan-addresses-the-rst-review-conference-of-the-assembly-of-states-parties-to-the-rome-statute-of-the-international-criminal-court/  FIDH Recommendations to the 16th Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute. New York, 4-14 December 2017 4 I - Introduction The 16 th  session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP or Assembly) to the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC or Court) will take place from 4 to 14 December 2017 in New York. During the session, the Assembly will consider matters fundamental to the Court, through holding a General Debate on the ICC and its operations, holding two plenary discussions on cooperation and the 20 th  anniversary of the ICC Statute, adopting a number of resolutions on matters such as cooperation, complementarity, and universality, and its mandate towards victims, aiming at ameliorating the ICC implementation of its mandate. Proposals will be discussed to amend the founding texts of the ICC, which would expand the denition of war crimes in particular and consider the condition of activation of the ICC on the crime of aggression. This year, the ASP will also elect a new President and two new Vice Presidents, six members of its Committee on Budget and Finance (CBF), but also six new ICC judges and make recommendations on the election of the Registrar. Finally, the Assembly will adopt the 2018 ICC budget. The worrying development led by some States to focus again on zero nominal growth, rather than on the effective needs of the Court to meaningfully full its mandate, constitutes one of the most disturbing threats to the Court’s effective ability to implement its mandate.With the 20 th  anniversary of the ICC Statute fast approaching, the Court is confronted with as many, or maybe even more, challenges as in 1998. The 20 th  anniversary should allow for a moment to take stock of the vast achievements made by the Court, while at the same time critically assessing how the Court can further and better maintain a permanent place in the ght for international justice. This exercise is to be done by all involved: States Parties, civil society, but also, the Court itself. During this session, States Parties should also engage in a global support for international justice, the expansion of the ICC jurisdiction and action worldwide, including more timely ICC investigations and prosecutions.The ASP should ensure that the adequate framework and resources are in place to ensure effective implementation of victims’ rights, a cornerstone of the ICC Statute. Lastly, the ASP should continue to consider the needs to ensure the safety and protection of civil society representatives working towards international justice and the fullment of the ICC’s mandate. As Ko Annan said in his speech in Kampala on 31 May 2010: “The remarkable success of the creation of the Court was the result of strong political will. Further progress will require vision, a strong sense of purpose, and even courage.”  FIDH has closely monitored the work of the Court and its States Parties in 2017 and presents in this position paper its views on issues closest to FIDH’s mandate. Victims’ Rights Working Group The promotion and defence of victims’ rights to truth, justice, and reparation continues to be fundamental to FIDH’s mandate. As a member of the Victims’ Rights Working Group (VRWG) of NGOs, FIDH fully endorses the VRWG paper for this ASP. 1 1. Victims’ Rights Working Group, Recommendations to the 16th Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court, 4-14 December 2017, New York, United States.’
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