ICC holds seminar on cooperation with focal points of States where investigations have been opened or are taking place
Pictured here: Participants of the second Seminar on Cooperation with Focal Points of States where investigations are being conducted, on 17 November 2014 in The Hague (The Netherlands). ©ICC-CPI
On 17-21 November 2014, a number of officials and focal points from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Libya, Côte D’Ivoire, and Mali will meet with Court officials to discuss cooperation with the ICC. Representatives from five other States with experience cooperating with the Court will also attend, as will ICC Staff tasked with liaising with national authorities
Emphasising the important role of national focal points, ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song said: “To make cooperation really work, we must develop mutual understanding and remain in constant dialogue. Events such as this seminar provide an excellent opportunity to do just that”.
Deputy Prosecutor James Stewart said: “This week-long seminar is part of a proactive approach to enhance cooperation and find solutions for specific challenges”. “The ICC is part of a network of national judicial systems comprising more than 120 States, and it is our joint actions, at the national and international levels, that bring life and purpose to this great enterprise”, he added.
Registrar Herman von Hebel underlined the importance of cooperation, stating: “Strong cooperation between the Court and Situation Countries is a fundamental component of the Rome Statute system, and is essential in ensuring expeditious trials, and ending impunity”. “I hope that our discussions here will foster stronger links between the Court and Situation Countries, leading to a better justice system for the victims of Rome Statute Crimes”, he further added.
States play an essential role in implementing the ICC’s Decisions, Orders and Requests, and States Parties often nominate a national focal point to coordinate and channel communications between national authorities and the ICC. This week, these focal points will share lessons learned and explore matters relevant to their experience working with the ICC through their national systems.
Enhancing dialogue between the ICC and States Parties on cooperation is of key importance to the Rome Statute system, This Seminar aims to address a wide range of issues related to cooperation including Witness and victims’ protection, outreach in situation countries, the participation of States in proceedings and various international agreements between State Parties and the ICC.
The Seminar was partially funded through the generous contributions of the Governments of The French Republic, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. On 13 and 14 July 2011, the first Seminar was held at the seat of the Court on the same topic. Now, this Seminar forms part of a larger the continuing effort to further advance the ICC’s processes, in particular in countries where ICC investigations are ongoing, with a view to realising the commitment of States Parties to end impunity and provide justice for the victims and affected communities of Rome Statute crimes.