Thursday, June 24, 2021

Australia makes a contribution to Trust Fund for Victims

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H.E. Mr Matthew E.K. Neuhaus, Ambassador of Australia to The Netherlands, and Pieter de Baan, TFV Executive Director at the unveiling of the artworkdonated by the Government of Australia to the ICC on 31 May 2021 ©ICC-CPI

Australia makes AUD$ 300,000 contribution to Trust Fund for Victims, earmarked to Ntaganda reparations

The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is pleased to announce that the Government of Australia has pledged AUD$ 300,000 to the TFV. The contribution has been specifically earmarked to the Ntaganda case with a focus on survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). 

Australia has been a consistent supporter of the TFV over the past decade, contributing over EUR 1,430 million to its mandate.

Speaking on occasion of this event, H.E. Mr Matthew E.K. Neuhaus, Ambassador of Australia to the Netherlands said “Australia is a longstanding and strong supporter of the International Criminal Court. We hope that our contribution to the Trust Fund for Victims, with its particular focus on reparations for victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, underscores that Australia’s commitment to gender justice – at home and abroad – is backed by action.”

In July 2019 Bosco Ntaganda was found guilty of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2002-2003. The Reparations Order for victims delivered in March 2021 found Mr Ntaganda liable for US$ 30 million. As the convicted has been found to be  indigent, the TFV is seeking to financially complement the reparation awards. This contribution by Australia is therefore, a vital step towards helping ensure victims of Mr Ntaganda’s crimes receive the reparations that are their right.

Baroness Arminka Helić, the TFV Board member representing the Western European and other States Parties, welcomed the contribution saying “This contribution by Australia sends a strong message of support to the survivors of SGBV who suffered due to despicable actions by Bosco Ntaganda. The impact of these terrible crimes includes a complex, long-lasting and devastating trauma. Giving a voice to the survivors, standing with them and providing real assistance is invaluable.  On behalf of the Board of Directors of the TFV I express my gratitude to the government of Australia.”

Thanking the Government of Australia TFV Executive Director Pieter de Baan said “Australia’s engagement with the TFV is taking a welcome next turn, earmarking their contribution to reparations in Ntaganda, and specifically for the benefit of SGBV survivors. The TFV  is proud to work alongside Australia in ensuring justice for these victims and looks forward to continuing to do so.”

In its reparations order in the Ntaganda case, the Trial Chamber ordered collective reparations with an individual component. The Chamber instructed the TFV to develop a draft implementation plan for reparations, which is due for submission by 8 September 2021.

Today, the Government of Australia also unveiled a piece of art it has donated to be placed at the premises of the International Criminal Court as a symbol of its commitment to the Rome Statute and the fight against impunity.

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