24 February 2020 - NW58
Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
What suggestions were put forward by the Government at the 18th Summit of the Non – Aligned Movement in October to reform the International Criminal Court
The 18th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 25-26 October 2019 under the theme: “NAM Baku Summit: Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world.”
The South African Government did not put forward suggestions at the 18th Summit of the NAM on the reform of the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, the NAM Heads of State and Government adopted the Baku Final Outcome Document of the 18th Summit of the NAM (NAM 2019/CoB/Doc.1) which included the Movement’s principled positions concerning international law, and in particular the mandate of the ICC as contained in the Rome Statute, as follows:
“28.13. The Non-Aligned States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) shall continue to preserve the integrity of the Statute and ensure that the ICC remains impartial and fully independent of political organs of the UN, which should not instruct nor impede the functions of the ICC, bearing in mind the relevant provisions of the Rome Statute;
28.14. The Heads of State and Government expressed strong concern on the abuse of certain provisions of the Rome Statute by the Security Council, including its practice to purport to selectively limit the jurisdiction of the ICC when referring matters to the ICC and noted that the practice amounts to an abuse of the powers of the Security Council to refer matters to the ICC.
28.15. The Non-Aligned States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC recalled the Review Conference of the Rome Statute, which was held in Kampala, Uganda, from 31 May to 11 June 2010, at which States parties reaffirmed their commitment to the Rome Statute and adopted amendments to the Statute to define the crime of aggression and to establish conditions under which the Court could exercise jurisdiction with respect to that crime;
28.16. The Non-Aligned States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC continued to underscore the necessity of the independence of the ICC, in accordance with its judicial nature. They stated that the Security Council's responsibilities under the Charter of the UN should not limit the role of the Court as a judicial body. The Court should be empowered to pronounce on acts of aggression independently.
28.17. The Non-Aligned State Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC oppose all actions, in particular through the Security Council, aimed at establishing a process to grant immunity to the staff members of UN peacekeeping operations, which violate the relevant provisions of the Rome Statute of the ICC and damage the credibility and independence of the ICC.”
The Baku Final Outcome Document was adopted by all NAM member states including South Africa.
The South African Government’s participation at the 18th Summit of the NAM was guided by the theme, as well as its four strategic foreign policy pillars, namely:
- advancing national interest to attain domestic objectives;
- enhancing the African Agenda and promoting Africa’s sustainable development;
- influencing a reformed global multilateral architecture; and
- advancing the agenda of the South through strengthening South-South Cooperation and North-South Dialogue.