, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5- The International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to hold the 9th Session of the Assembly of States in Kampala, Uganda.
Director of the Secretariat Assembly of the States Parties of the ICC Renan Villacis on Wednesday said the conference which will start at the end of this month will see several amendments made to the Rome Statute and review of International Crimes and Justice.
“The Assembly decided that the review conference would be held from May 31 to June 11 for a period of ten working days to consider amendments to the Rome Statute and a stocktaking of international criminal justice,” he said.
The Rome Statute is the treaty adopted in 1998 during a conference where 160 States established an international criminal court.
The conference is scheduled to define the crime of aggression, the conditions for the exercise of jurisdiction by the court as well as draft elements of the crime.
Crime of aggression is one of the crimes within the ICC jurisdiction but State Parties are yet to define it and set conditions under which the court will exercise its jurisdiction.
Another amendment to the Rome Statute will be the inclusion of a proposal that if adopted will expand the list of banned weapons which will be included in the war crimes.
Consideration to delete an article (article 124 of the Rome Statute) that allows a new State Party to opt for exclusion from the court’s jurisdiction on war crimes allegedly committed by its nationals or on its territory for a period of seven years will be the third amendment to the Rome Statute.
Mr Villacis said in the matters of international criminal justice, the conference will assess matters level of cooperation by member states which has been a major challenge for the ICC especially in arresting suspects and carrying out investigations.
He said the topic will be handled by Costa Rica and Ireland.
South Africa and Denmark will focus on the principle of complimentarity. Complimentarity means that the court only intervenes when a state is unwilling to investigate and prosecute core international crimes genuinely.
Peace and justice will also be key topics and Argentina, Democratic Republic of Congo plus Switzerland will lead in the discussions.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will open the high profile conference that will see top international personalities such as presidents, prime ministers, to name but just a few the likes of Thabo Mbeki, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and of course a powerful delegation from the ICC and other international and national bodies.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who will be the host is slotted to make remarks during the conference.
Out of the 111 member states, only 40 countries have so far registered for the review conference but Mr Villacis said more registrations were expected before the beginning of the conference. He however could not confirm if Kenya had registered.
Africa has the highest number of situations under investigations of the ICC and it is also the continent with a highest membership of 30 countries.
The review conference is held every year and the last one was held in November last year at The Hague.