The General Debate concluded today – Day 5 of the International Criminal Court Assembly of States Parties (ASP) in New York. The last of the Member States made statements, including Nigeria and Tunisia. Nigeria urged dissatisfied states not to withdraw and, rather, to recall the reasons underlying their states’ original support for the Court.
Observer states Ukraine, China, Iran and the United States also made statements. The United States rejected any ICC exercise of jurisdiction over US personnel absent the government’s consent or a UN Security Council referral, including in any potential investigation into US troop conduct in Afghanistan. China implicitly critiqued the Court, for example in statements such as “It is necessary for the Court to strike a balance between its two core values, namely, peace and justice. Justice should not be pursued at the expense of peace and reconciliation” in conflict zones.
￼The General Debate ended with statements by civil society groups. The Convenor of the
Coalition for an ICC, Bill Pace, urged states to be proactive rather than reactive. Among the many NGOs to speak was Human Rights Watch, which pointed out that “in this Assembly, there has been too little attention to addressing non- cooperation and we urge strengthened efforts in this area next year.” Human Rights Watch also expressed concern about the budget discussions: “Human Rights Watch is deeply concerned that the current budgeting process for the ICC will continue to result in inadequate funding for the effective implementation of the Court’s mandate.”
Day 5 also included consideration of the ICC’s 2018 programme budget request. Registrar Herman von Hebel presented the 2018 request (147.9 million Euro, up 4.4% from 2017) based on the needs of the various ICC organs, and the Chair of the ASP’s Committee on Budget and Finance presented the CBF’s recommendations on the budget request (2% growth over 2017). States also participated in informal consultations on the ASP’s omnibus resolution, titled Strengthening the ICC and the ASP.
Annika Weikinnis contributes a blog post today on side-events concerning the Prosecutor’s preliminary examinations and the aftermath of the Burundi withdrawal. Annika is currently enrolled in the Graduate Studies in Law program at the University of Ottawa (Canada) and conducts research in the field of international criminal law, in particular the involvement of transnational corporations in international crimes. She holds a Master’s degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Aberdeen and a Master’s degree in Law and Politics of International Security from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Attending the ASP16 is an invaluable experience for her, academically and professionally, and she hopes to gain further insights in the organisation, processes and issues concerning the ICC. Heartfelt welcome, Annika, to the IntLawGrrls ICC ASP Symposium!