On the first day of the general debate, 38 States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court addressed the Assembly on different issues including, in particular, issues to be dealt with at the Review Conference, such as the inclusion of the crime of aggression in the Rome Statute, the stocktaking exercise on international criminal justice, and other proposed amendments to the Rome Statute.
Delegations stressed the importance of the cooperation of States and regional organizations to the continued work of the Court, as well as the need for enhancing domestic judicial systems so as to ensure such cooperation. Reference was made to advancing towards universality of the Statute and supporting the participation of victims in the proceedings and the work carried out by the Trust Fund for Victims.
Other issues included discussions of the proposed budget for 2010 and the institutional framework of the Court, including the establishment of an independent oversight mechanism pursuant to article 112, paragraph 4, of the Rome Statute.
The Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of Uganda, Hon. Frederick Ruhindi, as the host country of the Review Conference, scheduled to begin on 31 May 2010, informed the Assembly that Uganda was actively working to ensure that civil society would fully participate in the Conference which would include a ‘Peoples’ Space’ at the venue in order to provide a forum for interaction between civil society and other stakeholders.
The Minister of Justice of the Netherlands, Dr. E.M.H Hirsch Ballin, as the host State of the Court, pointed out that the Netherlands, was determined to facilitate its smooth and efficient functioning. In this connection, he also stressed the continued support provided by the Netherlands to the Court.
Delegations from non-States Parties and representatives from international organizations and non-governmental organizations also addressed the meeting.
For the first time, a delegation of the United States participated in the Assembly as an Observer. In his statement to the Assembly, Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, Mr. Stephen J. Rapp, highlighted the Obama Administration’s commitment to the rule of law and the principle of accountability in line with the United States’ tradition of support for international criminal justice.
Statements of States can be found shortly at the following address:
For further information on the eighth session of the Assembly of States Parties, please contact Ms. Suzan Khan at +31-615-364-515 or