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Review Conference: Informal Daily Summary - Monday, 31 May 2010
31 May 2010
Dear All,

Today the Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened in Kampala, Uganda. From 31 May to 11 June, States Parties to the ICC Rome Statute - ICC's founding treaty - as well as observer states, international organizations and NGOs are meeting to discuss amendments to the Statute as well as its impact to date.

This message includes a short summary of developments in the General Debate (I); side-events (II); related documents (III); as well as news articles on the opening (IV).

For more information on the Review Conference, please visit the CICC website at:

To see the CICC Review Conference Background Paper visit:

Please note that official Review Conference documents can be found on the ICC website at:

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need further information.


CICC Secretariat



The President of the Assembly of States Parties, Mr. Christian Wenaweser, opened the High Level General Debate of the Review Conference followed by UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, the ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo and former UN Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan. The debate continued during the morning and afternoon sessions with interventions by H.E. Mr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of Tanzania, and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda as well as Spain on behalf of the European Union, Brazil, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Argentina, South Africa, Slovenia, Switzerland, Romania, Portugal, the African Union, Finland, Bulgaria, and the Central African Republic.

States emphasized, among other matters, the importance of all issues to be discussed at the Review Conference for the future of the ICC. In particular, a number of states representatives expressed their commitment to the mission of the Court to fight impunity, bring justice to victims and deter future atrocities. With regards to the stocktaking exercise, a number of States emphasized the need of cooperation for the effectiveness of the ICC, the need for national prosecutions, the role of victims as the main stakeholders of the ICC system and the mutually reinforcing relationship between peace and justice efforts. Many delegations noted the importance of the discussions on the crime of aggression as a key purpose of the Conference.

In this regard, states expressed various views and concerns all with the aim of having a constructive dialogue. Finally, a number of officials and delegations, including the UN Secretary General, the EU, Italy, Norway, Argentina, among others, recognized the important role of civil society organizations for the success of the Rome Statute system.

Official speeches will be posted on the ICC website at:


At lunchtime, the Coalition for the ICC hosted a roundtable discussion entitled "Civil society taking stock: cooperation."

The panel was moderated by Richard Dicker of Human Rights Watch. Panelists included Chris Hall of Amnesty International, who tackled the issues of implementing legislation and securing arrest; Georges Kampiamba of the Association Africaine de defense des Droits de l'Homme discussed how to identify and respond to cooperation challenges from the perspective of situations countries; Lorraine Smith of the International Bar Association raised issues on cooperation and assistance in defence matters; and Gerard Dive of the Belgian Ministry of Justice gave his views on cooperation with the ICC and the experience of Belgium. During the open discussion, states delegations, NGO representatives and ICC officials voiced their views and concerns with regards to the importance of effective cooperation with the ICC. Discussions on these and other important topics will continue tomorrow during the formal stocktaking exercise.

The Coalition for the ICC then hosted a panel discussion with UN Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Former UN Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan and representatives of civil society William R Pace (CICC) and Oby Nwanko of Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC). Panelists looked back at the historic Rome Conference and forward to the future of international justice and the Rome Statute system. All panelists reflected on the importance of civil society's contribution to the Rome system, including in terms of campaigns for the universality of the Statute and awareness raising.

In the afternoon, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon officially launched the People's Space, an open space set up by the Human Rights Network - Uganda and the Uganda Coalition for the ICC on the side of the Review Conference to showcase human rights work related to the work of the Court and to promote dialogue on issues related to the ICC.

In the evening, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies hosted an event on trauma and reparative justice, chaired by Kaary Betty Murungi of the Board of Directors for the Trust Fund for Victims. Panelists included: Yael Daniel, Director of the Group Project for Holocaust Survivors and their Children, Eric Stover, Faculty Director of the Human Rights Center and REDRESS Director Carla Ferstman provided a multidisciplinary approach to the dimensions of trauma and an insight in the practical aspects of its healing. Discussions focused on the potential of the different stages of the justice process to adequately address the healing of victims and their special needs.

In parallel, an event on "Africa and the ICC" was organized by an informal NGO network of African Civil society and international organizations with a presence in Africa. The panel was facilitated by Athalia Molokomme, Attorney General of Botswana. Speakers included Max Duplessis of the International Crime in Africa Programme (ICAP), Oby Nwanko of the Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) and Georges Kampiamba of the Association Africaine de defense des Droits de l'Homme.


i. Publications:

a. "Access: Victims’ Rights Working Group Bulletin - CPI Review Conference - Special Edition,” Issue 16, summer 2010, 16Final.pdf

b. “Some lessons on complementarity for the International Criminal Court Review Conference: Africa and the International Criminal Court - South African Yearbook of International Law”, Volume 34, 2009,

ii. NGO Statements and Reports:

a. “Estados Partes del Estatuto de Roma de la Corte Penal Internacional se reúnen para evaluar los primeros siete años de vigencia de este tribunal internacional (in Spanish)”- Comisión Colombiana de Juristas, 31 May 2010

b. “ICC: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon inaugurates the “People’s Space” at the Review Conference,” No Peace Without Justice, 31 May 2010“People’s-Space”-Review-Conference.html

c. “First Review Conference of the ICC Rome Statute: States must renew their commitment to accountability,” FIDH, 31 May 2010,

d. “ICC/Kampala: War Victims Football Game celebrates International Community’s commitment to end impunity and to promote victim’s rights,” No Peace Without Justice, 30 May 2010’s-commitment-end-impunit

e. “Communiqué and Position Paper,” ICDAA, 30 May 2010,

f. “Civil Society Communiqué to State Delegates at the Review Conference,” HURINET and other NGOs, 30 May 2010

g. “ICC: Strengthen International Justice at Kampala Conference,” HRW, 27 May 2010

h. “Media Advisory: ICTJ to Attend Rome Statute Review Conference,” ICTJ, 24 May 2010

i. “Civil Society Declaration on Africa and the Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” HRW, 24 May 2010

j. “Human Rights Now - ICC Crime of Aggression Statement.” Human Rights Now 24 May 2010

k. “Recommendations of the workshop on Review Conference of the Rome Statute,” ACIJLP, 20 May 2010

l. “CGS: Policy regarding the Crime of Aggression;” 14 May 2010

m. “Making Kampala Count,” HRW, 10 May 2010

n. “ICC: Bolster Global Justice at Kampala Conference,” HRW, 10 May 2010

o. “Letter to Foreign Ministers regarding the Crime of Aggression,” OSI and other NGOs , 10 May 2010,

p. “Making the Right Choices at the Review Conference,” Amnesty International, May 2010

q. “Stocktaking: Complementarity,” ICTJ, May 2010

r. “Stocktaking: Peace and Justice,” ICTJ, May 2010


i. “UN chief urges support for war crimes prosecution,” AFP, 29 May 2010,

“UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday called for greater global support for war crimes prosecutions at the start of a conference aimed at bolstering the International Criminal Court.

Since the court began working in 2002, The Hague-based tribunal has spearheaded global efforts to punish genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The tribunal has faced obstacles, including a lack of cooperation in arresting suspects and the refusal of the United States to approve the 1998 Rome Statute that founded the court and entered into force four years later.

More than 100 countries have nevertheless signed on to the court, whose creation was urged by small states seeking ways to prosecute the worst war crimes when their own legal systems were unable to do so.

'We want to send a strong message that atrocities and heinous crimes cannot go unpunished,' the UN secretary general said…”

ii. "International Criminal Court 'altered behavior' – UN,” BBC, 31 May 2010,

“The International Criminal Court (ICC) has forced governments to alter their behavior in the eight years of its existence, the UN chief has said. Ban Ki-moon told a summit in Uganda discussing the Hague-based court that it had curtailed impunity and had broken new ground on victims' rights.

But he called on member countries to step up co-operation.

Delegates from more than 100 countries are attending the meeting, to take stock of the ICC's achievements and push forward proposals for strengthening its rules.

Mr. Ban said the time had passed when the world faced a choice between peace and justice - now states had to pursue them hand-in-hand….”

iii. “ICC seeks more teeth at Kampala meet," AFP, 31 May 2010,

“Eight years after the International Criminal Court became operational, member states are set to review its performance and seek how to bring more suspects to trial.

Founded with the 1998 Rome Statute which entered into force in 2002, the Hague-based tribunal is a key instrument of global justice but has faced many obstacles in the cases undertaken so far.

…President of the ICC's Assembly of State Parties Christian Wenaweser said he was 'cautiously optimistic' member states could strike a deal on aggression, which, if put into force, would join war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide as actionable offenses.

While member states have informally agreed on how aggression should be defined, the real challenge lies in determining who has the power to initiate an investigation….”

iv. "International Court May Define Aggression as Crime,” New York Times, 31 May 2010,

“More than 100 nations, contingents of human-rights groups and lawyers from around the globe, will begin a meeting on Monday in Kampala, Uganda, tackling issues that could fundamentally expand the power of international law.

The thorniest question on the agenda, one certain to dominate the conference is a proposal to give the International Criminal Court in The Hague the power to prosecute the crime of aggression.
If approved, it could open the door to criminal accusations against powerful political and military leaders for attacks the court deems unlawful. Those could range from full-scale invasions to pre-emptive strikes….”

vi. “Ban Ki-Moon in football match with Ugandan leader,” BBC, 31 May 2010,

“UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni have taken part in a football match to highlight the plight of war crime victims.
The event, in the Ugandan capital Kampala, comes ahead of a conference reviewing the progress of the International Criminal Court.

Mr. Ban, in a blue shirt, represented the ‘Justice’ team, while President Museveni - dressed in white - played for the ‘Dignity’ team.

… President Museveni's team emerged victorious defeating the UN envoy one nil.”

vii. “At ICC Review conference, Ban declares end to 'era of impunity'”, UN News Centre, New York, May 31 2010,

“More than one decade after the International Criminal Court was set up, a new ‘age of accountability’ is replacing the ‘old era of impunity,’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underlined today.

Twelve years ago when world leaders gathering in Rome for its establishment, "few could have believed, then, that this court would spring so vigorously into life," Mr. Ban said at the first-ever review conference of the ICC held in Kampala, Uganda.

‘Seldom since the founding of the United Nations itself has such a resounding blow been struck for peace, justice and human rights,’ he stressed.

Today's gathering, the Secretary-General said, marks an occasion to bolster ‘our collective determination that crimes of humanity cannot go unpunished.’

The new ‘age of accountability,’ he noted, dawned with the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals, gaining strength with tribunals for Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Cambodia and Lebanon.”


ii. “With the International Criminal Court, a new age of accountability,” and Op Ed by UN SG Ban Ki-moon for the Washington Post, 29 May 2010,

“On Monday, nations will come together once again, this time in Kampala, Uganda, for the first formal review of the Rome treaty. It is a chance to not only take stock of our progress but also to build for the future. It is an occasion to strengthen our collective determination that crimes against humanity cannot go unpunished -- the better to deter them in the future.

As U.N. secretary general, I have come to see how effective the ICC can be -- and how far we have come. A decade ago, few would have believed that the court would now be fully operational, investigating and trying perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in a broadening geography of countries.

This is a fundamental break with history. The old era of impunity is over. In its place, slowly but surely, we are witnessing the birth of an age of accountability. It began with the special tribunals set up in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia; today, the ICC is the keystone of a growing system of global justice that includes international tribunals, mixed international-national courts and domestic prosecutions...
If the ICC is to have the reach it should, if it is to become an effective deterrent as well as an avenue of justice, it must have universal support. As secretary general of the United Nations, I call on all nations to join the ICC. Those that already have done so must cooperate fully with the court. That includes backing it publicly as well as faithfully executing its orders.

Discussion at the review conference in Kampala will include ways to strengthen the court. Among them: a proposal to broaden its scope to include "crimes of aggression," as well as measures to build the willingness and capacity of national courts to investigate and prosecute war crimes.

Perhaps the most contentious debate will focus on the balance between peace and justice. Frankly, I see no choice between them. In today's conflicts, civilians are too often the chief victims....

Our challenge is to pursue them both, hand in hand. In this, the International Criminal Court is key. In Kampala, I will do my best to help advance the fight against impunity and usher in the new age of accountability. We must never forget that crimes against humanity are just that -- crimes against us all.”


CICC's policy on the referral and prosecution of situations before the ICC:

The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the court. The CICC is an independent NGO movement dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC's trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts.

Communications to the ICC can be sent to:

P.O. box 19519
2500 CM the Hague
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