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Human Rights Watch Statement for the Plenary Session on Review at the International Criminal Court’s 22nd Assembly of States Parties

December 2023

Seventeenth session of the International Criminal Court's Assembly of States Parties in The Hague, Netherlands, December 2018.  © 2018 Syd Boyd/Coalition for the International Criminal Court

Thank you, Madam President.


Three years after the IER report was published, thanks to the stewardship of the Review Mechanism, much has been achieved. Efforts to strengthen the court’s delivery of justice should remain on the court’s agenda, in partnership with the Assembly and civil society

As we move forward, these efforts should increasingly focus on state party responsibilities. While states parties have grappled with certain IER recommendations that bear on their roles, such as those related to governance and elections, there is a need to go further.

This should include honest dialogue between the court and the Assembly about the resources needed in the long-term to ensure the court can more fully and effectively deliver on its global mandate. While the IER recommendations were presented as almost resource-neutral, the reality is that ensuring the court improves its performance requires investment.

IER recommendation 363 offers the ideal framework for this type of dialogue. This recommendation was positively assessed and refers to the development of a 10-year strategic vision for the court backed by a shared understanding of the resources, cooperation, and institutional development necessary to achieve that vision. The Assembly president has already laid the groundwork for its implementation by using this recommendation to frame discussions on the 25thanniversary of the Rome Statute. But this was only the beginning. It is now time to take the next steps.

To this end, this Assembly should support the court in developing a 10-year strategic vision, backed by consultation with civil society and affected communities. A shared vision is key to ensuring the court can deliver on the task you, its states parties, have set for it heading into the future.

Thank you.

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