The Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court ("the Assembly") held its fifteenth session from 16 to 24 November 2016 at the World Forum Convention Center in The Hague. The Assembly was attended by States Parties, observer States, invited States, international and regional organizations and representatives of civil society.
The session was chaired by the President of the Assembly, H.E. Mr. Sidiki Kaba. In his opening address, President Kaba recalled the context in which the Court was established, highlighting the hope of peace and justice which arose from the adoption of the Rome Statute on 17 July 1998. He recalled the need to work towards achieving universality of the Court in order to ensure effective universal justice, one which offers to all victims in the world, wherever they may be, the hope of justice thereby serving to calm the corrosive desire for vengeance.
President Kaba expressed regret at the withdrawal from the Rome Statute by three States Parties and urged them to reconsider their decision. In order to meet the challenges facing the Court, President Kaba stressed the need to take further action in five areas: achieving universality, strengthening complementarity, reforming global governance, enhancing the financial, logistical and human resources of the Office of the Prosecutor, and raising awareness about the work of the Court.
The Assembly elected H.E. Ambassador Sergio Ugalde (Costa Rica) as Vice-President and six members of the Committee on Budget and Finance for a three-year term.
The President of the Court, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, the Prosecutor, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, Mr. Motoo Noguchi and the Chair of the Oversight Committee on permanent premises, H.E. Sabine Nölke (Canada), presented their annual reports to the Assembly.
The Assembly held its general debate, which was enriched by the presence of numerous ministers, international organizations and representatives of civil society.
It held an open meeting of its Bureau to discuss the "Relationship between Africa and the International Criminal Court". The meeting featured two panellists, with statements by a representative of the African Union Commission, and 38 States Parties, including 11 from Africa. Two representatives of civil society also had the opportunity to express their views.
A pledge ceremony inviting States to ratify the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Court before the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute in July 2018 was held.
Several side events, including some organized by civil society, were also held during the session.
The Assembly adopted five resolutions by consensus on: the 2017 budget of the Court, the permanent premises, cooperation, amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence and the strengthening the International Criminal Court and the Assembly of States Parties.
The Assembly also adopted the 2017 programme budget of the Court totalling €144,587,300 and a staffing level of 970.
The sixteenth session of the Assembly will be held from 4 to 14 December 2017 in New York.
Further information about the session can be found at the website of the Assembly.
For additional information please contact Ms. Estera Luteranova at [email protected].