Monday, October 06, 2014

Minister of Justice of Senegal, Sidiki Kaba, Endorsed for the Position of President of the Assembly of State Parties

The Assembly of State Parties is the management oversight and legislative body of the ICC. It is made up of representatives of State Parties to the Rome Statute, and each State Party is represented by one representative in the ASP, who may be accompanied by a delegation. The Assembly meets in full session once a year alternately in New York or The Hague. During these meetings the ASP is responsible for, among other things, electing the President, judges and prosecutors, deciding the Court’s budget, and providing management oversight to the different organs of the Court. The ASP has a Bureau which consists of a President, two Vice Presidents and 18 members elected by the Assembly for a three year term.

Sidiki Kaba, Minister of Justice of Senegal, has recently been endorsed by the Assembly of State Parties Bureau as the International Criminal Court (ICC) Assembly of State Parties (ASP) President for 2014-2017. It is especially significant that the African regional group, taking its turn to nominate a president, chose him by consensus among three candidates. He will take over from the outgoing Ambassador Tiina Intelmann of Estonia, who was elected by the State Parties of the Rome Statute in December 2011 as the fourth President of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute.

Mr. Kaba has a great deal of experience and qualifications that make him a suitable candidate for the position. He was appointed Minister of Justice of Senegal in 2013. He is a lawyer who has dedicated great majority of his career to issues of humans rights, particularly in freedom of press, women’s rights and political rights. He participated in the 1998 negotiations of the Rome Statute and thereafter implemented numerous campaigns to promote ratification of the Statute by Senegal and many other African countries. Senegal ratified the Rome Statute on February 2, 1999, becoming the first State Party.

Among other honors, the Minister has been granted the titles of Chevalier of the National Order of the Lion of Senegal (2001), Officer of the Legion of Honor of France (2002), and Chevalier of the National Order of Mali (2011). He holds degree in Law, Philosophy, French language and a Masters in Business Law.

In a statement at the meeting with the Bureau of the Assembly on September 30, 2014, Minister Kaba presented his vision for his presidency, and expressed the gratitude he feels regarding his endorsement. During this statement, he outlined four major goals that he intends to tackle during his tenure: The relationship between Africa and the ICC; cooperation between the ICC and the State Parties; complementarity; and the universality of the Rome Statute.

Mr. Kaba is ambitious for the Court and determined to effectively fight against impunity for serious crimes within the Court’s jurisdiction. In his closing statement, Mr. Kaba asserts that he believes that “if peace is to take root in the hearts and souls, justice can largely contribute through its work of prevention, deterrence, punishment, repair, restoration of the dignity of the victim, releasing, if any, people from collective guilt. Be assured that I am ready and willing to face, with you, this legitimate struggle for rights and justice,” (Statement of Minister Kaba at the meeting with the Bureau of the Assembly, 30 September 2014)

 Written by Jessica Levy

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