ICC holds fifth Seminar on Cooperation in The Hague with national focal points
On 12-15 September 2017, the fifth Seminar on Cooperation with national focal points took place at the seat of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "the Court") in The Hague, The Netherlands. For four days, a number of officials and focal points from States where investigations are being conducted – the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Libya, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Georgia – met with Court officials and staff to discuss cooperation with the ICC and share good practices. Representatives from other States, including Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Chad, Egypt, Jordan, Niger, Republic of the Congo, Tunisia, and Guinea, also attended, along with the Ambassadors for Senegal and France in The Hague as co-facilitators for cooperation of the Assembly of States Parties.
Opening the Seminar, ICC First Vice President Judge Joyce Aluoch stated that "the purpose of this Seminar is to create a space for dialogue; to give us all the opportunity to exchange perspectives and share experiences in order to enable us to collaborate in an effective and efficient manner".
During his intervention, ICC Deputy Prosecutor James Stewart stated: "Cooperation is the backbone of the functioning of the Rome Statute system. We must do all we can to ensure the Court consistently receives the support and cooperation it needs to effectively achieve its mandate and reach its full potential. Equally, genuine and effective cooperation between national jurisdictions will remain key in ensuring that no impunity gap occurs in relation to the international crimes".
"This forum has now gained experience and transformed itself into a 'club of experts' on ICC cooperation. It is thus my hope that this accumulated experience is channelled into finding new and creative ways of addressing current challenges and sharing good practices", ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel said.
States play an essential role in implementing the Court's decisions, orders and requests, and States Parties often nominate a national focal point to coordinate and channel communications between national authorities and the Court. This week, the focal points discussed topics related to cooperation, shared good practices and found the best ways to move forward to continue ensuring effective and efficient cooperation between the focal points and the Court, with a view to continue the Court's efforts in improving the efficiency of the ICC's proceedings.
This Seminar with focal points forms part of a larger continuing effort to further advance the Court's processes, in particular in countries where investigations are ongoing. The Seminar was partially funded through the generous contributions of the European Union, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and the Government of the Netherlands.
For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson/Head, Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or 31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected]