Statement of ICC Prosecutor, Karim A.A. Khan QC: Contributions and support from States Parties will accelerate action across our investigations
I am delighted to confirm that my Office received the first contributions to its dedicated Trust Fund for Advanced Technology and Specialized Capacity, with a total of 14 States Parties having already made contributions or stated their wish to do so.
Through my Note Verbale of 7 March 2022, I invited all States Parties to provide assistance to my Office in order to address its urgent resource needs and allow it to effectively address all situations presently under investigation or in trial.
In response to this call, to date the following States Parties have confirmed their provision of financial contributions, or their intention to do so, and/or expressed their wish to make available to my Office national experts on a secondment basis: Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. I wish to express my sincere thanks to all these States Parties, as well as to a significant number of others who have shown an interest in contributing in the near future.
The funds received will be deployed based on my assessment of needs across all situations, focusing on the following three priority areas:
Use of new advanced technological tools and equipment in the collection, analysis and processing of evidence;
Provision of enhanced psycho-social support to witness and survivors, as well as broader additional witness protection and support measures;
Enhancement of dedicated and specialised capacity with respect to investigations into crimes of sexual and gender-based violence and crimes against children.
I am particularly keen to ensure that our Office draws on industry-leading technological architecture as part of its investigative work. Conflicts and international crises now generate audio, visual and documentary records on a massive scale. The commission of international crimes leaves a significant digital footprint.
Given the scale and complexity of digital and multimedia evidence in many situations addressed by my Office, I will initially prioritise the use of contributions by States Parties to establish a technological infrastructure that will allow us to fully harness the potential of such material. This will include the immediate expansion of digital data storage capacity; the introduction of tools supporting the automatic transcription and translation of video and audio files; and the development of a customised evidence lifecycle management system to centralise knowledge and make it more readily available for investigators to draw on in their work.
Together, these innovations will significantly enhance the preservation, storage, and analysis of digital and multimedia evidence and accelerate its integration into cases presented in court.
The secondment of national experts will provide an injection of expertise and capacity in relation to specific areas of the Office's work. They will be critical as we seek to accelerate our work across our investigations and effectively meet the challenges faced in conducting investigations across all situations addressed by my Office. I am anticipating further commitments of expertise in the coming weeks.
We stand at a critical moment for the cause of justice. Tragically, we are reminded on a daily, hourly, basis of the horrific personal impact that conflict brings, as well as the imperative of ensuring that those who commit crimes in this context are held accountable.
However we are also presented with an opportunity to reaffirm the continued real-world relevance of international law. I believe that the strong support shown for the work of my Office through these contributions, and with that to the International Criminal Court as a whole, represents an important, early step in demonstrating our unity of purpose as we seek to vindicate the legitimate hopes for justice of all those impacted by atrocities.
In that spirit I would continue to welcome States Parties to make voluntary contributions and consider the secondment of national experts in order to strengthen our common work towards ensuring accountability for Rome Statute crimes.
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