Mirjam Blaak, Uganda’s deputy head of mission to Brussels and lead person to the International Criminal Court (ICC), hosted the Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala that ended last Friday.
Why did Uganda host the Kampala Conference?
It was proposed to host the Conference in Kampala instead of New York or The Hague, because Africa is where all the cases of the ICC are taking place, and where all the victims of these horrible crimes live. Many delegates participated in pre-conference visits to Northern Uganda. For them it was a lifetime experience because, until then, they had only been discussing the Rome Statute in theory, but they had never been in touch with the victims.
Do you think that the Conference has met expectations?
Yes, though it was quite a battle. We only reached consensus on the crime of aggression at one o’clock Saturday morning. The African and Latin-American groups emphasised that the court should not be dependent on political decisions taken by the Security Council. Meanwhile, the Council’s permanent members only wanted to give the ICC the mandate to investigate a situation after the Security Council has pronounced a resolution.