Press Release: 24 January 2019

ICC holds sixth Seminar on Cooperation in The Hague with national focal points


On 21-24 January 2019, the sixth 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, 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 Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Liberia, Moldova, Niger, Tanzania, Tunisia,  and Qatar, also attended, along with the Ambassador of Senegal in The Hague as co-facilitator for cooperation of the Assembly of States Parties.

Opening the Seminar, ICC President Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji stated: "The cooperation of States is the lifeline of the ICC's investigations and cases. From the collection of evidence to the service of documents, from the freezing of assets to the arrest and surrender of suspects, we rely on the timely and effective cooperation of States. … I would like to emphasise how important it is that we all continue to work together to make cooperation as smooth, fast and effective as possible. … To do that, we must not be afraid to tackle any difficulties that may exist. That is one of the main objectives of this week's programme – to have a real, substantive, honest exchange of views."

In welcoming the delegates, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda emphasised the importance of this annual seminar "as yet another manifestation of the ever evolving and strengthening bond between the Court and national jurisdictions in the fight against impunity for atrocity crimes." She recalled the correlation between state cooperation and the impact of the Court:  "Whilst the Court will do its part to investigate, prosecute and try atrocity crimes, its impact and success also depends on the level of political, diplomatic, operational and financial support it receives from its States Parties and other interlocutors." She praised the seminar as a helpful opportunity for Court representatives and State Party focal points to further reflect and discuss ways to enhance working methods and ultimately the efficiency of cooperation.

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 broader efforts to further advance cooperation with the Court and enhance global support for the Court, in particular in countries where investigations are ongoing. The Seminar was organised with the generous support of the European Commission.

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of 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]

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