Originally Published on Tuesday, 13 December 2011
On 12 December 2011, the tenth Assembly of States Parties opened with an introductory statement by Ambassador Christian Wenaweser (Liechtenstein), President of the ASP, followed by a minute of silent prayer or meditation, and finally the adoption of the agenda for the ASP session.
During the morning session, the Assembly elected Ambassador Tiina Intelman (Estonia) as the new President of the Assembly. She succeeds Ambassador Wenaweser and has been appointed for a three year term. Mr. Markus Börlin, Swiss Ambassador to the Netherlands and Mr. Ken Kanda, Ghanaian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) were elected as Vice-Presidents of the ASP.
The election of the 18 members of the ASP Bureau – the ASP’s executive committee – was held during the morning session. 18 were elected as the new members of the Bureau for three-year terms. The new members come from the following states: Canada, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Samoa, Republic of Korea, Japan, Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Brazil, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Gabon, Republic of South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria.
The President of Botswana, Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, UN Deputy-Secretary General Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro and UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay addressed the Assembly. ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song also presented a Report on the activities of the Court. ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo then reported on the activities of his Office in the course of 2011. Ms. Elizabeth Rehn, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, addressed the Assembly. The speeches will be available online shortly on the website of the ASP: http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ASP/
Ambassador Intelman, the newly elected President of the Assembly, presented a report on the activities of the ASP Bureau. The 2011 Report on the activities of the Court is available at: http://icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/asp_docs/ASP10/ICC-ASP-10-39-ENG.pdf
At lunch time, the new President of the ASP, Ambassador Tiina Intelman, and the new elected ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, gave a press conference.
The CICC organized—together with Poland (holding the rotating presidency in the Council of the European Union) and the European External Action Service (EEAS)—a Europe Regional Meeting with government delegates and members of civil society. Presentations were made by civil society representatives from Europe (Women Support Centre, Kyrgyzstan; Georgian Young Lawyers Association), Africa (the DRC Coalition for the ICC; International Commission of Jurists-Kenya), the Americas (Colombian Commission of Jurists; the Andean Commission of Jurists), Asia (Malaysian bar Association and Malaysian CICC; IMPARSIAL Indonesia and the Indonesian CICC), and Middle-East–North Africa (CICC MENA; Adaleh Centre for Human Rights, Jordan). Issues touched upon included Rome Statute ratification, cooperation, key ICC issues for the respective regions, EU support for civil society in regions, and the ICC budget for 2012, amongst others. A question and answers session ended the side-event.
In the afternoon, a side event on the Crime of Aggression, including the book launch of the “Travaux préparatoires of the Crime of aggression”, was hosted by the permanent mission of Liechtenstein, in collaboration with Cambridge University Press, the Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression, and Parliamentarian for Global Action.
An informal meeting by states parties was held on the Omnibus Resolution, “Strengthening the International Criminal Court.” States discussed paragraphs 17-25 of the Resolution, including suggested language on the Search Committee for the Prosecutor and on cooperation with the host state.
An event on “A complementarity-tool: assisting international criminal investigations – launch of a handbook for the international field worker as well as the occasional practitioner” was held during the afternoon, by Sweden and the Folke Bernadotte Academy. States parties delegates, the Swedish Foreign Ministry, the OTP, civil society representatives, were in attendance. The handbook has been developed in order to provide in order to provide non-lawyers in the field with the basic knowledge needed to correctly identify, gather and forward information on possible international crimes to international criminal courts and tribunals.
The Victims Rights Working Group also held a strategy meeting, discussing past achievements and future actions which may be undertaken. For more information on the work of the Group visit: http://www.vrwg.org