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Statement by IDLO at the Nineteenth Session of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute

14 Dec 2020

Nineteenth Session of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute

Mr. President of the Assembly,

Mr. President of the International Criminal Court,

Madam Prosecutor of the ICC,

Mr. Registrar,

Honorable Ministers,

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Esteemed Representatives of the Civil Society,

The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) appreciates and welcomes this opportunity to address the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute on the occasion of its nineteenth session.

As the only global intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law, IDLO believes that sustainable peace and development cannot be achieved without the rule of law and access to justice.  

Providing support to national criminal justice systems, in application of the complementarity principle enshrined in the Rome Statute, is one of the key components of IDLO’s programmatic work. In close cooperation with national institutions and justice seekers, we focus on strengthening capacities and coordination across the criminal justice chain to fight against impunity.

We work in over thirty countries to enable justice institutions to provide just, fair and swift responses and to empower people to claim their rights. In line with our commitment to reach those furthest left behind, IDLO prioritizes the needs and human rights of the marginalized and most vulnerable.

As the preamble to the Rome Statute states, crimes that threaten the peace, security and well-being of the world cannot go unpunished and their effective prosecution must be ensured by taking measures at the national level and by enhancing international cooperation.

The fight against impunity for the most serious crimes – such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity - goes hand in hand with the establishment of an overall culture of justice at the national level. This implies providing justice to the victims of all crimes and human rights violations, while respecting the defendant’s right to a fair trial.  A lack of legal awareness of the public and a lack of responsiveness of security and justice institutions may lead to a lack of civic trust and norm-adhesion, which may ultimately lead to a climate of impunity of more serious crimes.

IDLO has developed specific programs supporting institutions in the investigation and prosecution of crimes under international law, including in Rwanda, Somalia and Yemen. In addition, an important part of IDLO’s work focusses on strengthening the capacities of the criminal justice sector at the national level to investigate and prosecute crimes and human rights violations in line with international human rights standards.  We provide technical assistance and capacity development across a wide variety of activities, from criminal law reform,  to training police offers and supporting the office of the prosecutor, for example in our programs in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Honduras, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, Niger and the Philippines.

In doing so, IDLO works in close collaboration with in-country justice institutions, including courts, prosecutors, public defenders, complaint and oversight bodies, ministries of justice, and national human rights institutions. IDLO has expertise in working across a variety of legal systems and in highly complex, fragile, and transitional environments. An important part of our work concentrates on combatting sexual and other forms of gender-based violence.

IDLO reaffirms its commitment and readiness to provide further support to member states in strengthening their criminal justice institutions, in line with the principle of complementarity of the Rome Statute, in close consultation and based on specific needs and requests.

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The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) enables governments and empowers people to reform laws and strengthen institutions to promote peace, justice, sustainable development and economic opportunity.

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