December 10, 2018

Member countries fight over international court’s budget

NEW YORK, Dec 20 (Reuters) – The five countries that contribute the most funding to the International Criminal Court are seeking to cap the court’s budget for the third year in a row, according to diplomats involved in the negotiations.

The budget negotiations are taking place in New York this week as part of the annual meeting of the Hague-based court’s 120 member countries.

Japan, Germany, Britain, France and Italy, which together contribute more than half the court’s funding, have pushed for zero growth in the court’s budget because of the global financial crisis, said the diplomats, who  declined to talk on the record.

The five states are trying to ensure that the “budgetary constraints of all member states are well reflected in the ICC budget,” said a French diplomat.

The International Criminal Court, which investigates war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, had a budget of 103 million euros ($134 million) for 2011, 20 million euros ($26 million) short of what it says it needs for 2012. The court has not received a budget increase for two years. In 2009, its budget allocated funding for 218 prosecution staff, responsible for investigations in four places. In 2011, the same allocation covered investigations in seven places.

Asked what a zero-growth budget would mean in practical terms, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said, “No Cote D’Ivoire. No Libya.” Read the rest of the article as it appeared.

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