Public Announcement on the Decisions taken by the Trust Fund for Victims Board of Directors during 2020
Despite the constraints imposed across the globe due to the COVID- 19 pandemic, the Board of Directors (Board) of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has remained committed to move forward with decision-making. It does so in order to steer the evolution of the TFV’s mandates and activities to ensure appropriate and timely delivery of reparative justice measures, in the form of assistance programmes and reparations awards, for the benefit of victim-survivors of atrocity crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC.
In 2020, the Board met in three remote sessions on 29 April, 25 June, and 17 July. The ICC Registrar participated in all Board meetings in an advisory capacity. Following the concise remote sessions, the Board continued to take decisions through email communications.
Further Board meetings are planned for October and December 2020.
Notable TFV Board decisions and submissions in 2020, to date.
Passing of Chair Felipe Michelini
Dr Felipe Michelini, the Chair of the Board, passed away on 19 April 2020. The Board and Executive Directors expressed their sincere condolences to Dr Michelini’s family and the Embassy of Uruguay. The Board appreciated the publicly expressed condolences by the international community, the President of the Assembly of States Parties, the President and Registrar of the Court and the ICC Prosecutor, individual ICC staff and representatives of civil society organisations.
To honour the late Chair, the Board approved several initiatives. First, the creation of a funded fellowship/internship programme named after the late Chair. The TFV Secretariat was requested to consult with the ICC Registrar and his office on how to implement this initiative. Second, following consultation with the Registrar, the Board approved to name a meeting room at the premises of the ICC after the late Chair. The date and form of the ceremony to inaugurate this room is to be decided later, taking into account the measures to be respected due to Covid-19.
During a closed session on 29 April 2020, the Board unanimously elected Mama Koité Doumbia as Chair for the remainder of their mandate until December 2021.
In July 2020, the Board members welcomed Ms Minerva Tavárez Mirabal (Dominican Republic, Latin American and Caribbean States), as their colleague. Ms Tavárez Mirabel was elected to the Board by the Bureau of the Assembly on 9 July 2020 to replace Dr Michelini.
Proposed Programme Budget 2021 for the TFV Secretariat
In June 2020, the Board approved the Proposed Programme Budget 2021 for the TFV Secretariat (Major Programme VI in the Court’s budget) at a level of zero-nominal growth.
Further to their decision of 2 March 2020, to approve the draft Strategic Plan 2019-2021 as well as the action plan proposed by the Executive Director in relation to the recommendations of the IOM evaluation of the TFV Secretariat, the Board considered the update Strategic Plan for the period 2020-2021. The Board noted the plan’s synchronisation and alignment with the ICC Strategic Plan and stressed the importance of the TFV Strategic Plan demonstrating the interaction between the reparations and assistance mandates, as well as taking into consideration how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the work of the TFV.
After a second round of comments on the Updated TFV Strategic Plan, the Board adopted the final version in August 2020. The updated Strategic Plan will be notified on the TFV website.
On 19 March 2020, the Board approved the allocation of €1.8 million of finance for the second year of the Uganda assistance programme; a programme to be implemented by six partner organisations across 22 districts of northern Uganda.
The Board welcomed the launch of the assistance programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in July 2020. Over US$ 1.5 million, or approximately €1.3 million, were allocated for the first year of this programme with a total of 10 partners.
Following the completion of international competitive bidding processes to select implementing partners, the Board decided to notify the Pre-Trial Chamber of Assistance Programmes in the Central African Republic (Pilot Programme – February 2020), in Côte d’Ivoire (July 2020) and in the Central African Republic (Full Assistance Programme – September 2020).
The Board decided that the Assistance Programme in the Central African Republic, while primarily intended to cover the harm suffered during the Situation in CAR I, may extend to the harm suffered during the Situation in CAR II.
The Board stressed the need for the TFV to address the consequences of COVID-19 on victims, in particular in ongoing assistance programmes. The Board expressed its expectation to receive recommendations on the feasibility of new assistance programmes in Kenya and Georgia, for consideration in its next meeting in October.
Reparations-related Filings and Decisions
In pre-order reparations proceedings in Ntaganda case, the Board, upon invitation by the Trial Chamber, filed two submissions in February and April 2020. The Board also took throughout the first half of 2020, a high number of confidential decisions on whether individual victims are eligible for reparations in the context of Lubanga and Al Mahdi specific reparation awards ordered by Trial Chambers.
The Board welcomed that important procurement processes for the implementation of collective reparations in Lubanga and Al Mahdi were concluded in June and July 2020.
The Board welcomed the ongoing fundraising initiatives relevant to the situation in Mali.
The Board received the Secretariat’s adapted private sector fundraising approach and action plan in July 2020 and will consider an updated version at its session in October 2020.
Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims
Mama Koité Doumbia (Mali, African States) – Chair from April 2020 onwards
Baroness Arminka Helić (United Kingdom, Western European and Other States)
Sheikh Mohammed Belal (Bangladesh, Asian States)
Gocha Lordkipanidze (Georgia, Eastern European States)
Minerva Tavárez Mirabal (Dominican Republic, Latin American and Caribbean States) – from July 2020 onwards
Peter Lewis, Registrar
Secretariat of the Trust Fund for Victims
Pieter de Baan, Executive Director