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Cooperation
The success of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Rome Statute is largely dependant on cooperation by external actors, such as states; international and regional organizations. That success therefore rests on the level of cooperation that the Court is able to secure and States Parties are able and willing to provide, although obligated to do so under the Rome Statute.

In this regard and as identified at the eighth session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) in 2009, the stocktaking process at the Review Conference regarding cooperation presented a unique and valuable opportunity, never before undertaken, to review the cooperation the Court has or has not received since its inception and to consider ways to ensure the fullest cooperation in the future.

The stocktaking exercise on cooperation at the Review Conference was prepared by the duly appointed ASP Focal Points Costa Rica and Ireland. After consulting with States Parties and the Court, the ASP Focal Points produced the Bureau’s report on stocktaking of cooperation that set the standard and outcome of discussions at the Review Conference and in a bid to make such a diagnosis. In the background paper the following topics formed the basis of discussions over the three hours dedicated to cooperation as a stocktaking topic: implementing legislation; supplementary agreements, arrangements and other forms of cooperation; challenges encountered by States Parties in relation to requests for cooperation; cooperation with the UN and other intergovernmental and regional bodies; and enhancing knowledge of and support of the Court. The discussions, which took place on 3 June 2010 and moderated by H.E. Philippe Kirsch, former President of the ICC and ad hoc Judge at the International Court of Justice, included several keynote speakers, speakers from foreign governments; regional and international bodies and the ICTR.

In addition to the Bureau report, the Focal Points produced a “draft outcome document,” so-called as consensus could not be attained amongst States Parties with respect to whether the format of the document should be a resolution or declaration. The draft document aimed to codify the outcome of the Review Conference discussion by inter alia reaffirming the obligation of States Parties under Parts 9 and 10 of the Rome Statute and the importance of executing arrest warrants. As well as the prospective issuance of a resolution or declaration, the stocktaking event culminated with a report summarising the discussions.

The Focal Points opened the door at an early stage for input from civil society, and individual NGOs as well as the CICC Team on cooperation, who have presented input and participated in the meetings of the Working Groups in The Hague and New York. The Team which has monitored the stocktaking preparations expressed its general support for the efforts of the Focal Points and provided comments in the development of the Bureau’s report on stocktaking of cooperation and its corresponding “draft outcome document.” The Team had the belief that the cooperation discussions at the Review Conference should include a reflection on how States Parties have complied with the cooperation regime in the Rome Statute, and in particular its obligation to ensure the availability of procedures under national law to facilitate cooperation with the Court as well as observance of the Bureau’s 66 recommendations on cooperation contained in its report from the 6th session of the ASP.
Further, the Team supported the proposal of the Focal Points for cooperation as a regular agenda item at the ASP and hoped that consideration would be given to formulating those discussions in a permanent working group with the Bureau’s Cooperation Facilitator as Chairperson and in order to accord cooperation the proper attention that is warranted and to carry forward the outcomes of the Review Conference.

In addition the Coalition encouraged States Parties not only use the Review Conference to make pledges that would ensure greater cooperation, but to take full advantage of the stocktaking exercise by making announcements of prospective government initiatives that would facilitate the same following and based on the outcomes of the stocktaking discussion that should identify successes and obstacles to cooperation.

The Coalition also aimed to capitalise on momentum created by the Review Conference with its side event on stocktaking of cooperation, that took place on 31 May 2010 which sought to address cooperation-related issues from the perspective of civil society that are of critical importance to the Court and will be for the Bureau’s Cooperation Facilitator.
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