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Danish mission in Geneva organizes high-level panel on the relevance of the ICC to the protection and promotion of human rights.

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 The Rome Statute, Accountability and the Protection of Human Rights, Wednesday 11th November 2015

 

The panel, who addressed an audience of app. 150 representatives from states and civil society in Geneva, featured the ICC President, Judge Silvia Alejandra Fernández de Gurmendi and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the Chairperson of the Committee against Torture, Claudio Grossman, the Permanent Representatives of Uganda, Ambassador Christopher Onyanga Aparr and Costa Rica, Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez to the UN in Geneva and the Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action, Dr. David Donat Cattin.

The discussion addressed three main questions, namely the role of the ICC in establishing broader accountability at national levels, including its contribution to strengthening national judicial capacity; the deterring role of the ICC in preventing human rights violations; and finally the potential dilemma between the ICC’s call for accountability and initiating peace processes involving potential war criminals.

The panel concluded that although universal ratification was essential for the Court's ability to fully exercise its global mandate, the ICC through its deterrent effect already contributed significantly to combat impunity and to prevent human rights violations. Several examples were furthermore given on how the implementation of the Rome statute had strengthened national accountability. Still, assistance from the international community and civil society to increase national capacity for accountability remained crucial. Finally, while acknowledging a potential short term tension between justice and peace, the panel agreed that justice had in history always proven to be an essential component for stable peace and several cases were discussed where this presumed dilemma had been overcome and justice had contributed to the establishment of long lasting peace.
The panel underscored the essential role of the Human Rights Council in Geneva in promoting the universality of the ICC, not least through the mechanism of the Universal Periodic Review. 
The event was organized as part of the Plan of Action on Universality and Full Implementation of the Rome Statute, for which Denmark and Cyprus serve as focal-points within the Assembly of States Parties.

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