The fight against impunity is getting ever more attention in UN discussions on governments improving their human rights frameworks. Learn how we’re keeping the pressure on.
In response to our most recent efforts to promote ICC membership through the UN Human Rights Council’s (HRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the latest session saw a total of 94 ICC-related recommendations, nearly as many as were made during the 12 sessions of the first UPR cycle. Three states have already accepted some of those recommendations, and the others should now follow their lead.
Through the UPR, the human rights records of 42 UN member states are assessed each year by members of the HRC. This provides an opportunity for the Coalition to work with ICC states parties to advance the fight against impunity by making ICC-related recommendations to the states under review.
Recommendations include, but are not limited to:
- Ratifying or acceding to the ICC Rome Statute;
- Incorporating Rome Statute crimes into domestic legislation;
- Ratifying or acceding to the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Court (APIC); or
- Improving cooperation with the Court.
At the 21st UPR session in January, 34 ICC member states made 94 ICC-related recommendations to 11 states under review. Kenya, Turkey and Lesotho each accepted recommendations ranging from ensuring cooperation with the Court to considering accession to the Rome Statute.
Although Kenya rejected recommendations to accede to the APIC, it vowed to cooperate with the ICC and support the protection of witnesses.
Turkey received 15 ICC-related recommendations, and has already committed to continue to consider acceding to the Rome Statute. The Coalition will continue to encourage Turkey to further commit to the fight against impunity by accepting the other recommendations calling for it to join the ICC, implement the Rome Statute, and accede to the APIC.
Lesotho approved a recommendation from Costa Rica to bring its national legislation into line with the Rome Statute.
The final outcome of the UPR will not be adopted until the 29th session of the HRC in June. This leaves time for most of the countries reviewed to analyze the recommendations received and submit their responses. The Coalition will use this time to encourage Armenia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos and Turkey to accept calls to ratify the Rome Statute.
The Coalition also hopes that ICC member states Guinea and Guyana will commit to align their domestic legislation with the Rome Statute as called for by several states during the session.
Grenada, Spain, and Sweden—all states parties to the Rome Statute—did not receive any ICC-related recommendations.
The high volume of ICC-related recommendations and several states’ decisions to accept them continue to affirm a global commitment to fighting impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Our Coalition will continue to engage with states that have accepted recommendations to ensure that they are implemented.Follow @VirginieAmato