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Annual Round Table Meetings Held between International Criminal Court and Non-governmental Organizations

04.06.2019

 
On May 20-24, 2019, annual round table meetings took place between the representatives of International Criminal Court and non-governmental organizations in Hague, Netherlands.

The meetings touched upon the issues of cooperation between the NGOs and the ICC, as well as challenges faced by the Court in various countries in ongoing investigations and preliminary examinations.

The judges and chief prosecutor, representatives of Registry and Office of Prosecutor and other sections of ICC attended the meetings. As for the NGO sector, the representatives of local NGOs and international human rights organizations attended the meetings.

The representatives of Human Rights Center, Article 42 of Constitution, Georgian Young Lawyers Association and Georgian Center for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims attended the meetings from Georgia.

The representatives of Georgian NGOs highlighted the challenges related to the ongoing ICC investigation of 2008 August War in Georgia and called on the representatives of the ICC Office of Prosecutor to pay attention to the most large-scale and grave crimes, including ethnic cleansing of Georgian population. The representatives of the NGOs also underlined the fact that considering the mass scale of the crimes committed against the ethnic Georgians, the OTP must determine the highest ranking officials responsible for the crimes. The attention was also drawn to the importance of the Georgia investigation for the regions beyond the African continent, considering that it is the first non-African investigation which will have an impact on public support and trust towards the ICC in future as well as raising awareness. 

The representatives of Georgian NGOs once again pointed out the grave socio-economic conditions of the victims in Georgia and called on the Trust Fund for Victims to implement assistance programs in order to support them. The attention was also drawn to the necessity of strengthening the ICC field office in Georgia and equipping it with additional human and financial resources, as well as active information and awareness raising activities, including with the victims regarding the ongoing investigation, mandate and role of ICC, as well as the rights of victims in the ICC proceedings.

The representatives of the ICC underlined the importance of the Georgia situation and asserted that it is one of the priorities of the Court. The representatives of OTP indicated that the investigation is proceeding actively, however, considering the confidential nature and interests of the investigation, they abstained to reveal the concrete details regarding the investigation. According to the information provided by the representatives of the Trust Fund, the Fund is currently assessing the situation of the victims and in November 2019, its board will decide whether or not to implement assistance programs in Georgia.

The representatives of NGOs from Georgia participated in the round table meetings by the financial support of Open Society Georgia Foundation and Coalition for International Criminal Court. 
Signatories:

- Article 42 of Constitution 
- Georgian Center for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims
- Georgian Young Lawyers Association
- Human Rights Center
- Justice International

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