United Nations

A/RES/51/207


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

16 January 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 147


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

               [on the report of the Sixth Committee (A/51/627)]


           51/207.  Establishment of an international criminal court

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its resolutions 47/33 of 25 November 1992 and 48/31 of
9 December 1993,

      Recalling also that the International Law Commission adopted at
its forty-sixth session a draft statute for an international criminal
court 1/ and decided to recommend that an international conference of
plenipotentiaries be convened to study the draft statute and to
conclude a convention on the establishment of an international
criminal court, 2/

      Recalling further its resolution 49/53 of 9 December 1994, in
which it decided to establish an ad hoc committee, open to all States
Members of the United Nations or members of specialized agencies, to
review the major substantive and administrative issues arising out of
the draft statute prepared by the International Law Commission and, in
the light of that review, to consider arrangements for the convening
of an international conference of plenipotentiaries,

      Recalling its resolution 50/46 of 11 December 1995, in which it
decided, in the light of the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the
Establishment of an International Criminal Court, 3/ to establish a
preparatory committee, open to all States Members of the United
Nations or members of specialized agencies or of the International
Atomic Energy Agency, to discuss further the major substantive and
administrative issues arising out of the draft statute prepared by the
International Law Commission and, taking into account the different
views expressed during the meetings, to draft texts, with a view to
preparing a widely acceptable consolidated text of a convention for an
international criminal court as a next step towards consideration by a
conference of plenipotentiaries, and also decided that the work of the
Preparatory Committee should be based on the draft statute prepared by
the International Law Commission and should take into account the
report of the Ad Hoc Committee and the written comments 4/ submitted
by States to the Secretary-General on the draft statute for an
international criminal court pursuant to paragraph 4 of General
Assembly resolution 49/53 and, as appropriate, contributions of
relevant organizations,

      Noting that the Preparatory Committee continued the discussion of
the major substantive and administrative issues arising out of the
draft statute and initiated consideration of draft texts, with a view
to preparing a widely acceptable consolidated text of a convention for
an international criminal court,

      Noting also that major substantive and administrative issues
remain to be resolved,

      Noting further that the Preparatory Committee, in the light of
the progress made and deeply aware of the commitment of the
international community to the establishment of an international
criminal court, recommended that the General Assembly reaffirm the
mandate of the Preparatory Committee and give further directions to
it,

      Recalling that in its resolution 50/46 it resolved to decide, in
the light of the report of the Preparatory Committee, on the convening
of an international conference of plenipotentiaries to finalize and
adopt a convention on the establishment of an international criminal
court, including on the timing and duration of the conference,

      Noting that the Preparatory Committee, recognizing that this is a
matter for the General Assembly, and on the basis of its scheme of
work, considered that it was realistic to regard the holding of a
diplomatic conference of plenipotentiaries in 1998 as feasible,

       Aware of the necessity to maintain some flexibility in the
organization of future work in order to ensure the success of the
conference of plenipotentiaries,

      Expressing deep appreciation for the renewed offer of the
Government of Italy to host a conference on the establishment of an
international criminal court in June 1998,

      1.    Takes note of the report of the Preparatory Committee on the
Establishment of an International Criminal Court, 5/ including the
recommendations contained therein, and expresses its appreciation to
the Preparatory Committee for the useful work done and the progress
made in fulfilling its mandate;

      2.    Takes note also of the various views of Governments
expressed during the consideration of the report of the Preparatory
Committee in the Sixth Committee during the fifty-first session of the
General Assembly;

      3.    Decides to reaffirm the mandate of the Preparatory
Committee, and directs it to proceed in accordance with paragraph 368
of its report; 6/

      4.    Decides also that the Preparatory Committee shall meet from
11 to 21 February, 4 to 15 August and 1 to 12 December 1997, and from
16 March to 3 April 1998, in order to complete the drafting of a
widely acceptable consolidated text of a convention, to be submitted
to the diplomatic conference of plenipotentiaries, and requests the
Secretary-General to provide the Preparatory Committee with the
necessary facilities for the performance of its work;

      5.    Decides further that a diplomatic conference of
plenipotentiaries shall be held in 1998, with a view to finalizing and
adopting a convention on the establishment of an international
criminal court;

      6.    Urges participation in the Preparatory Committee by the
largest number of States so as to promote universal support for an
international criminal court; 

      7.    Requests the Secretary-General to establish a special fund
for the participation of the least developed countries in the work of
the Preparatory Committee and in the diplomatic conference of
plenipotentiaries, and calls upon States to contribute voluntarily to
that special fund;

      8.    Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its
fifty-second session the item entitled "Establishment of an
international criminal court" in order to have the necessary
arrangements made for the diplomatic conference of plenipotentiaries
to be held in 1998, unless the General Assembly decides otherwise in
view of relevant circumstances.


                                                          88th plenary meeting
                                                              17 December 1996


                                     Notes

1/    See Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth
Session, Supplement No. 10 (A/49/10), para. 91.

2/    Ibid., para. 90.

3/    Ibid., Fiftieth Session, Supplement No. 22 (A/50/22).

4/    See A/AC.244/1 and Add.1-4.

5/    Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-first Session,
Supplement No. 22 (A/51/22).

6/    Paragraph 368 of volume I of the report reads as follows:

            "The Preparatory Committee wishes to emphasize the
      usefulness of its discussions and the cooperative spirit in which
      the debates took place.  In the light of the progress made and
      with an awareness of the commitment of the international
      community to the establishment of an international criminal
      court, the Preparatory Committee recommends that the General
      Assembly reaffirm the mandate of the Preparatory Committee and
      give the following directions to it:

            "(a)  To meet three or four times up to a total of nine
      weeks before the diplomatic conference.  To organize its work so
      that it will be finalized in April 1998 and so as to allow the
      widest possible participation of States.  The work should be done
      in the form of open-ended working groups, concentrating on the
      negotiation of proposals with a view to producing a draft
      consolidated text of a convention to be submitted to the
      diplomatic conference.  No simultaneous meetings of the working
      groups shall be held.  The working methods should be fully
      transparent and should be by general agreement in order to secure
      the universality of the convention.  Submission of reports on its
      debates will not be required.   Interpretation and translation
      services will be available to the working groups;

            "(b)  To deal with the following: 
            (i)  Definition and elements of crimes;
           (ii)  Principles of criminal law and penalties;
          (iii)  Organization of the Court;
           (iv)  Procedures;
            (v)  Complementarity and trigger mechanism;
           (vi)  Cooperation with States;
          (vii)  Establishment of the International Criminal Court and its
                 relationship with the United Nations;
         (viii)  Final clauses and financial matters;
           (ix)  Other matters."

 

This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 10 January 2000 10:55:20
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org