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Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for the ICC and the Rule of Law - 6th session

Kampala, Uganda - 27-28 May 2010
Hosted by the Parliament of Uganda

2011 Update: As follow up to the VI Consultative Assembly: Malaysia's cabinet commit to ratify the Rome Statute.

From 27 to 28 May 2010, more than 100 Legislators from all regions of the world participated in the 6th Session of the Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for the ICC and the Rule of Law in Kampala, Uganda. This years session of the Consultative Assembly, a biennial event organized by Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) since 2002, was the first held in Africa and hosted by the Parliament of Uganda, under the leadership of Hon. Stephen Tashobya and Hon. Abdu Katunutu, MPs, respectively Chair and Deputy Chair of the Organizing Committee of PGA and the Parliament of Uganda.

The 6th Session of the Consultative Assembly focused primarily on generating transnational parliamentary support and action on the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes through the Rome Statute system. At the same time, it served as an important prelude to the first Review Conference of the Rome Statute which started on 31 May 2010, also in Kampala. The conference provided therefore an important backdrop and opportunity to convene and devise strategies in advance of the Review Conference (for more information regarding the outcomes of the Review Conference, please click here - coming soon).

During the course of the Consultative Assembly, Legislators interacted extensively with the most senior officials of the ICC, President Sang-Hyun Song and Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, as well as with the President of the Assembly of States Parties, Amb. Christian Wenaweser and experts from Governments, civil society and the United Nations. Opened by the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, Mr. Edward Ssekandi and Supreme Court Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki, the session was concluded by an address from the Head of the War Crimes Division in the High Court of Uganda, Justice Akiiki Kiiza, and a statement of PGA President, Sen. Bassey Ewa-Henshaw of Nigeria and Hon. Ruth Tuma, MP, of Uganda, Convenor of the PGA International Law and Human Rights Programme.

Throughout the two days of the Consultative Assembly, Legislators emphasized the need for concrete action on primary challenges such as promoting universality and effective national implementing legislation of the Rome Statute, maximising the impact of the ICC to deter crimes and advance peace and promoting relevant law reforms. At its conclusion, the participants adopted a comprehensive plan of action (Kampala Plan of Action 2010) which also contains specific positions of PGA on the agenda-items of the Kampala Review Conference of the Rome Statute.

Some of the more important achievements of the Consultative Assembly include the following:

  1. The Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (Law and Parliamentary Affairs) of Malaysia, Hon. Mr. Mohamed Nazri, announced that the ICC accession bill will be tabled before the Cabinet of the Government of Malaysia upon his return to Kuala Lumpur. This announcement was warmly welcomed by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Malaysian Parliament, PGA Member Mr. Kula Segaran, MP as well as by all other participants in the Consultative Assembly.
  2. A prominent representative of Seychelles? main opposition party, PGA Member Mr. Bernard Georges, MP, highlighted specific action to ensure multi-party consensus on ICC ratification by Seychelles, which appears now to be imminent.
  3. PGA member Dip. Sigrfrido Reyes, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador presented the actions undertaken at the Parliamentary level to promote multi-party dialogue on the future accession of El Salvador to the Rome Statute as an issue of national interest to ensure that crimes that took place in the past are not repeated again and as one of the means to provide assurances of non-repetition to the victims of the civil conflict.
  4. The author of the DRC?s ICC Implementing Legislation Bill of 2008, Prof. Nyabirungu Mwene Songa, MP, communicated that, following persistent advocacy of the DRC PGA National Group, the ICC Bill has been calendarised for discussion in the plenary of the DRC Lower House between 6 and 15 June 2010.
  5. Ugandan MPs led by PGA Member Mr. Stephen Tashobya, MP Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee, described some of the fundamental features of the ICC Bill adopted by Parliament on 10 March 2010, including the elimination of the death penalty for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
  6. Chadian MPs, Hon. Jules Mbaigoto Tatoloumel and Hon. Asnal Djidandibe, shared their experience in pursuing justice for past gross human rights abuses and requested the technical assistance of PGA on new ICC-related legislation, especially on reparations for victims.
  7. Brazilian MP Mr. Antonio Carlos Pannunzio announced that a comprehensive legislation implementing the Rome Statute in Brazil?s law will soon be adopted by the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia with multi-partisan support.

The VI Session of the Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for the ICC and the Rule of Law received the support to the PGA Campaign for the ICC of The European Commission (European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights),and of the Governments of Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland

The support and cooperation of the Parliament of Uganda and the core support of The Governments of Denmark and Sweden

The Parliament of Uganda and PGA acknowledge with appreciation the in-kind contributions made by the Parliaments of Angola, Brazil, Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and by the United Nations Development Fund (DRC office)

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