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International Campaign for the Establishment of the International Criminal Court




Name:International Campaign for the Establishment of the International Criminal Court
International Organization:United Nations
From: To:1995 -
Promoters:World Federalist Movement
Supporters:2,500 organizations
Official web site:
During the Rome Conference in 1998, Amnesty International held a lie-down (“tutti giù” in Italian) with protestors blocking streets around Rome’s Coliseum. Filippo Monteforte/ANSADuring the Rome Conference in 1998, Amnesty International held a lie-down (“tutti giù” in Italian) with protestors blocking streets around Rome’s Coliseum. Filippo Monteforte/ANSA
 The Coalition for the International Criminal Court includes 2,500 organizations around the world working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the ICC; ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.


The Coalition was founded in 1995 by a small group of NGOs that coordinated their work to ensure the establishment of an International Criminal Court. Since then, the Coalition's membership has increased exponentially as its original goal of establishing the ICC grew to include the larger goal of guaranteeing the Court's fair, effective and independent functioning. Over the years, the Coalition Secretariat and its global membership have worked together at every stage of the Court's development from the preparatory committees for the establishment of the Court, to the Rome Conference that established the Court to the annual Assembly of States Parties meetings.

The CICC secretariat has two locations, in New York and The Hague - with regional coordinators based around the world - and is led by William R. Pace, Executive Director of the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy, who serves as the Convenor of the CICC. The work of the Coalition is guided by an informal Steering Committee, which helps to define the CICC’s goals, policies and strategies.

The role of the Coalition was recognized by the Assembly of States Parties when it adopted a resolution entitled ‘Recognition of the coordinating and facilitating role of the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court’ (ICC-ASP/2/Res.8) during its second session in September 2003.

When introducing the resolution, Ambassador Allieu I. Kanu of Sierra Leone, Vice-President of the Assembly of States Parties, remarked: "In this journey, there are people who are generally seated on the sides or in the back of our assemblies, those who took the floor only occasionally, those who do not get the credit but nevertheless tirelessly sustain, defend and yes, set the spirit of the institution which we incarnate today. An organization that represented such people is the NGO Coalition for the ICC”.

The coalition objectives

Through the concerted efforts of member groups and in cooperation with governments and international organizations, we work toward:

• protecting the letter and spirit of the Rome Statute;

• raising awareness of the ICC at the national, regional and global level;

• monitoring and supporting the work of the Court;

• promoting ratification and implementation of the Court’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute;

• monitoring and supporting the work of the Assembly of States Parties;

• facilitating involvement and capacity building of NGOs in the ICC process; and

• expanding and strengthening the Coalition’s worldwide network.

The founders

The CICC has received major financial contributions from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the European Commission. Over the years, other important grants have been received from the Open Society Institute, Paul and Daisy Soros Foundation, Reebok Foundation, Third Millennium Foundation and the governments of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The highlights of the coalition

Below are selected highlights of the Coalition for the ICC's involvement in the establishment of the Court.

10 February 1995
A number of NGOs meet in New York and decide to form the NGO Coalition for an International Criminal Court.

The CICC starts out with 25 member organizations

NGOs meet with the recently formed group of Like-Minded Governments (LMG) who support the creation of an ICC.

The Coalition encourages governments to call for a diplomatic conference to negotiate the ICC treaty. In consultation with the LMG, the CICC develops the guiding principles for a permanent ICC.

Two years after its founding, the Coalition has now grown to 450 organizations.

14 June 1998
The CICC Steering Committee adopts its eleven principles for the Coalition’s work at the Rome Conference.

15 June - 17 July 1998
CICC members take part in the Rome Diplomatic Conference on the ICC and represent the largest delegation, with nearly 500 participants.

The Coalition now counts a total of 800 member organizations.

August 1998
After the conference, CICC members adopt a multi-year campaign to secure the 60 ratifications required for entry into force of the treaty.

The CICC calls for July 17th to be designated World Day for International Justice. The CICC is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize; three other nominations follow in subsequent years. The Coalition also launches a campaign from The Hague on 13 May 1999 calling for the worldwide ratification of the ICC Statute after Senegal became the first state to ratify the ICC treaty in February 1999.

Despite expert predictions that it would take decades to realize 60 ratifications, the success of the Coalition’s global ratification campaign indicates that it could be achieved by 2002. The Coalition begins research on “lessons learned” from the ICTY and ICTR.

September 2000
During the Millennium Summit, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan calls on all UN member states to promptly ratify the Rome Statute.

More than 1,000 NGOs have joined the Coalition.

31 December 2000
NGO members in the United States conduct an extensive campaign for President Clinton’s signature of the ICC treaty. On its final day for signature, the United States – along with Iran and Israel – signs the Rome Statute, bringing the total number to 139 signatories (surpassing the CICC campaign goal of 120 signatures, to match the votes in favor of the Rome Statute).

After Andorra's ratification of the ICC treaty marked the halfway point to the 60 ratifications needed for the Rome Statute's entry into force, the Coalition calls for the government of the Netherlands and the Preparatory Commission to dramatically step up efforts to prepare for the ICC, including the establishment of an Advance Team.

11 April 2002
CICC members attend a historic ceremony at the UN, in which ten countries simultaneously deposit their instruments of ratification, triggering the entry into force of the ICC Statute. The event is the result of close collaboration between the Coalition and the UN.

May 2002
The Coalition establishes a co-secretariat in The Hague to closely monitor the Court and facilitate NGO consultations with the ICC and the Assembly of States Parties.

June-July 2002
After the United States announces to the United Nations its intention not to ratify the Rome State, the Coalition organizes intense opposition to US efforts to obtain a Security Council resolution exempting US peacekeepers from ICC prosecution for a renewable one year period, which is ultimately adopted on July 12.

1 July 2002
The CICC hosts a reception to mark the entry into force of the Rome Statute, which is attended by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

September 2002
At the first meeting of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), held in New York, the Coalition succeeds in promoting democratic and progressive procedures and criteria with regard to the election of judges and the Prosecutor.

11 March 2003
After the election of the first 18 judges by the ASP in February 2003 in New York, the Coalition is honored to participate in the Inauguration of the ICC judges, and hosts a Special Convocation with the newly elected judges. The Convenor joins the ICC President and the President of the Assembly of States Parties in a press conference. The next month, the ASP elects Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo of Argentina as the first Chief Prosecutor of the ICC.

16 June 2003
Coalition members participate in the Swearing in of ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo and make presentations at his first public hearing.

The CICC’s membership now exceeds 2,000 organizations.

September 2003
The Coalition’s budgetary and other working groups increase activities to monitor the ASP during the early stages of the ICC’s establishment. The ASP adopts a resolution recognizing the contributions of the CICC to the establishment of the Court.

The Coalition becomes fully engaged with all aspects of the ICC and expands its networks in Africa and the Middle East.

January-June 2004
CICC members advocate actively against attempts to undermine the integrity of the Court and help prevent the renewal of Security Council Resolutions 1422/1487 that exempted UN peacekeepers from non-States Parties from ICC prosecution, which is ultimately withdrawn by the United States due to a lack of support.

April 2004
The Coalition embarks on its campaign to secure 100 ratifications.

September 2004
The Coalition facilitates NGO participation in the Third Session of the Assembly of States Parties, which is held in The Hague for the first time. The Assembly adopts the ICC’s budget for 2005 and elects the Deputy Prosecutor for Prosecutions, Ms. Fatou Bensouda of The Gambia.

The CICC expands its team structure to better monitor and provide input on issues related to the ICC and the ASP. The Coalition also expands its New York and Hague Secretariats.

10 February 2005
The Coalition celebrates its 10th anniversary.

31 March 2005
The UN Security Council refers the situation in Darfur, Sudan to the International Criminal Court, an action advocated by many CICC members.

The CICC’s membership now has organizations from over 150 countries.

27 October 2005
Mexico becomes the 100th state to ratify the ICC treaty. The CICC attends a ceremony at the United Nations to commemorate the event.  
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