UN General Assembly Adopts Draft Upholding International Criminal Court’s Goal to End Impunity

Governance, Human Rights, Justice

General Assembly, Adopting Draft Upholding International Criminal Court’s Goal to End Impunity, Calls for Cooperation in Arresting Fugitives
General Assembly, Plenary Seventy-fifth Session, 18th & 19th Meetings (AM & PM)
GA/12280 2 November 2020

The General Assembly, acting without a vote, adopted a resolution today that acknowledges the role of the International Criminal Court in ending impunity and promoting human rights, and calls upon States to cooperate with the tribunal regarding the arrest of fugitive defendants.

By the terms of the resolution “Report of the International Criminal Court”, the Assembly welcomed the 123 States that have become parties to the Rome Statute, the 1998 treaty that created it, and called upon all States that have not done so to consider doing so without delay. The world body further called upon all States that have not yet done so to consider becoming parties to the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the Court, while also emphasizing the importance of cooperation between the Court and States that are not parties to the Rome Statute.

It also looked forward to the nineteenth session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute at Headquarters from 7 to 17 December, which will elect a new Prosecutor and six new judges to the Court, which is based in The Hague…

…Following adoption, several delegations disassociated themselves from consensus, included the United States. Some delegates, including those from Belgium and the State of Palestine, pointed at the United States decision to impose sanctions on the Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, and another senior official, and urged all nations to respect the Court’s independence.

The President of the Court, Chile Eboe-Osuji, in a pre-recorded statement at the start of the meeting, highlighted achievements and challenges, including threats by powerful global actors that rail against its existence and threaten to destroy it. Such attacks show that the Court is making a difference and cannot be ignored by those with a geopolitical interest in leaving innocent victims at the mercy of heinous crimes, he said, as he introduced its annual report (documents A/75/324 and A/75/324/Corr.1). Acknowledging that the Court, like humanity, is not perfect, he urged those States not party to the Rome Statute to reconsider their objections. He added that the findings of an Independent Expert Review into strengthening the Court, will spur reforms while also consolidating its values…


Growing Docket of International Court of Justice Signals Rising Confidence in Its Legitimacy, Say Delegates, as General Assembly Concludes Debate
3 November 2020 GA/12281
The General Assembly concluded its debate on the report of the International Court of Justice today, with speakers describing the growing docket of the principal United Nations judicial organ as a sign of rising confidence among Member States in the authority and legitimacy of its judgements and advisory opinions.