8th Assembly of State Parties to the ICC: NPWJ calls for a stronger international criminal justice system, through implementation, cooperation and an intensified ICC field presence

18 Nov, 2009 | Press Releases

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) is participating in the Eighth Session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the International Criminal Court, to be held in The Hague on 18 – 26 November 2008.

No Peace Without Justice, which is a founding member of the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) and which has been one of the organisations at the forefront of promoting the establishment and entry into force of the permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) and continues to work for its universal ratification, has participated in every session of the ASP since its first session in 2002, the year the ICC was established.

At the Eighth Session of the ASP, NPWJ’s delegation will be headed by Secretary-General Niccolo’ Figa’-Talamanca, who will also address the Assembly during the General Debate on Thursday, 19 November 2008.

Eleven years after the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the 8th ASP is a good opportunity for State parties to reaffirm their strong commitment to peace and justice and to the promotion of universal ratification and full implementation of the Rome Statute. NPWJ, therefore, urges States Parties who have not done so to fulfil their obligations to enact implementing legislation as soon as possible. NPWJ also calls on all States Parties to cooperate fully with the ICC in its investigations and judicial actions, especially in ensuring the prompt arrest and surrender of any person, regardless of their status, who is the subject of a Court arrest warrant, in particular, those currently evading justice in relation to events in Darfur and Uganda.

NPWJ also considers that the ICC Review Conference, to be held in Kampala (Uganda) in June 2010, provides an unprecedented opportunity to conduct a stock-taking that can set the policy tone and direction for the Court in the years to come as well as to enhance ICC States Parties’ understanding of the justice needs and experiences of communities affected by the Court’s work. We call on State Parties to the ICC to give their full support to the Uganda-wide initiative launched by NPWJ, the Human Rights Network – Uganda (HURINET-U) and the Ugandan Coalition on the International Criminal Court (UCICC), with the support of the Government of Uganda, aimed at ensuring engagement between ICC States Parties and the people affected by their work.

The 8th ASP will also see the third meeting of the Policy Group of the Justice Rapid Response (JRR), currently chaired by Canada, with the support of NPWJ in its capacity as the Interim JRR Secretariat. JRR is a multilateral cooperative mechanism for the supply of expertise and assistance responding to a request of a State or international institution, where the identification, collection and preservation of information would assist a wide range of international and transitional justice options. NPWJ encourages all States Parties to attend this meeting and support the JRR, as a practical mechanism designed to support efforts to end impunity worldwide.

Finally, NPWJ welcomes the ongoing efforts made by the ICC to increase its field presence and urges States Parties to support the Court on this matter, in order to maximise its impact on local populations and strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of its work.

Provisional Agenda of the 8th ASP Session

For further information, contact Alison Smith on asmith@npwj.org or +32-486-986 235 or Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32-2-548-3914.