Ref:
57/2010
 


Between 31
May and 11 June 2009, the first Review Conference of the Rome Statute is being
held in Kampala, Uganda. This historic conference – which will be attended by
all States Parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC) – represents the
first opportunity for reviewing the ICC Statute and analysing the impact of the
Court over its first 8 years of activity.

 

The
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) participated in the conference from
30 May – 6 June. Efforts were focused on highlighting the consequences of
impunity for international crimes, as demonstrated by the current situation in
the occupied Palestinian territory. PCHR stressed that the ICC was created in
order to enforce international criminal law, and to ensure that those
responsible for international crimes are held to account. The ongoing situation
in the oPt demands that crimes committed there be brought before the Court. The
international community’s continued granting of impunity to Israel denies
victims’ rights, undermines international justice, and is in conflict with the
object and purpose of the ICC.

 

PCHR
participated in a number of debates and discussions, in particular contributing
to the General Debate on 1 June and participating in a number of stocktaking
events, including ‘peace and justice’, ‘complimentarity’ and ‘victims’. PCHR
also participated in a stocktaking exercise organised by ICTJ on 2 June, and in
a panel discussion ‘Implementing Victims’ Access to Justice’ organised by FIDH
on 3 June. PCHR also met with numerous States and NGO Representatives,
representatives of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, and the High Commissioner
for Human Rights, Navantehem Pillay.

 

On
Thursday 4 June, PCHR, in cooperation with FIDH, organised a side-event
entitled ‘Is There a Court for Gaza?’ This event featured a roundtable
discussion addressing the current situation in the oPt, and the Palestinian
Authority’s declaration of 22 January which accepted the jurisdiction of the
ICC in accordance with Article 12(3) of the ICC Statute. The panel featured a
number of international law experts and was attended by a number of States and
NGO representatives.

 

PCHR also
organised a joint statement condemning the 31 May Israeli attacks on the Gaza
Freedom Flotilla, which resulted in the deaths of 9 civilians; ‘NGOs Gathered
in Kampala Call for End to Impunity Crisis Following Israeli Attack on Aid
Convoy.’ Today, PCHR also organized a
joint press release, ‘On Historic Occasion of the First Review Conference of
the International Criminal Court the Palestinian and Israeli Human Rights
Organizations Call All States to Uphold Victims’ Rights and Seek Accountability
for International Crimes.’ The two documents are available on PCHR’s website,
www.pchrgaza.org.