Decisions taken by the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims
January to July 2021
Despite the ongoing 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 continued its work to ensure appropriate and timely delivery of reparative measures, in the form of assistance programmes and implementation of reparation awards, for the benefit of victim-survivors of atrocity crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC.
On 8 April 2021, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute elected Andres Parmas from Estonia to the TFV Board of Directors. Mr Parmas was nominated by consensus by the Eastern European group of States Parties. Mr Parmas will continue the term of office of Mr Gocha Lordkipanidze who resigned in February 2021 upon his election as Judge at the ICC.
Using remote meeting modalities, from January until July 2021, the TFV Board convened for a total of eight sessions held on 3 and 25 February, 19 March, 1 April, 6 and 27 May, 1 June, and 6 July. Following the remote sessions, the Board continued to take decisions through email communications. In this period, the Board took the decisions listed below.
This list of decisions should be read and considered in conjunction with the public version of the TFV Management Brief Q1 and Management Brief Q2 of 2021. These documents provide a comprehensive and detailed overview on the activities carried out by the Trust Fund.
Fund Management Decisions
- The Board approved the allocation of €300,000 from the assistance resources (‘reserve’) to the new assistance programme in Mali, to enable initial funding. For accounting reasons, in future public documents the Trust Fund will refer to resources available in its assistance reserve as “assistance resources”.
- The Board decided to keep the Uganda third-year assistance programme (2021 – 2022) with five projects at the total value of €1.5 million (the value of the previous programme year).
- The Board approved the DRC second-year assistance programme (2021 –2022) with ten projects in line with the value of the first year, i.e. US$1.5 million in total.
- The Board approved the fund allocation of €1.5 million as a first complement to the liability amount in the Ntaganda case pursuant to regulation 56 of the Regulations of the TFV.
- The Board approved the allocation of €1 million to increase the reparations resources (‘reserve’) to a total of €2.479 million. For accounting reasons, in future public documents the Trust Fund will refer to resources available in its reparations reserve as “reparations resources”.
- The Board welcomed the voluntary contributions received from Australia (AUS$ 300,000 equivalent to €189,013), Ireland (€300,000), and Italy (€30,000). The Australian funding was earmarked to Ntaganda, with a focus on survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. This was the first earmarked contribution to Ntaganda. With this earmarked contribution, the total TFV complement for Ntaganda reparations is at €1,689,013 out of US$30 million that Mr Ntaganda is liable for as ordered by the Trial Chamber. The voluntary contribution from Ireland increased by 50% compared to 2020, and the amount is divided equally to fund reparations reserve and assistance reserve. The contribution from Italy was unrestricted.
- The below charts illustrate the specific amounts in euros (€) allocated to various assistance programmes (on a calendar year 2021 basis) and the complements for reparation
- Board Chair Mama Koité Doumbia (Lubanga) and former Board member Gocha Lordkipanidze (Al Mahdi) continued to act as designated Board representatives for the TFV’s administrative eligibility decisions in relation to reparations awards ordered by the ICC.
- Following the resignation of Mr Lordkipanidze as Board member in February 2021, Baroness Arminka Helić was appointed as designated Board representative for the eligibility decisions of beneficiaries of the Al Mahdi individual reparations awards.
- From January to July 2021, the Board has issued 872 confidential decisions on whether individual victims are eligible for reparations in the Lubanga (total of 322) and Al Mahdi (total of 550, all positive) specific reparations awards ordered by the Trial Chambers.
- The Board appointed Andres Parmas, supported by Minou Tavárez Mirabal, as its focal point for the Ntaganda case.
- The initial draft implementation plan (IDIP) in the Ntaganda case was submitted on behalf of the Board of Directors to the Trial Chamber pursuant to regulation 57 of the Regulations of the Trust Fund on 8 June 2021. The use of two assistance projects of the Trust Fund was approved by the Trial Chamber in July 2021 to address the urgent needs of priority victims in the Ntaganda case.
Independent Expert Review (IER) and Review Mechanism (RM)
- The Board decided to designate one focal point from the Board to work together with one focal point from the Secretariat and represent the TFV in its communication with the ICC and IER Review Mechanism. Board member Sheikh Mohammed Belal was designated as focal point by the Board, supported by Board member Minou Tavárez Mirabal.
- The Board’s views on the IER Recommendations were integrated in the Court’s overall response to the IER Report, submitted to the Review Mechanism on 14 April 2021, and, separately, observations by the Board of Directors were included in an annex to the response. See: Overall Response of the International Criminal Court to the “Independent Expert Review of the International Criminal Court and the Rome Statute System – Final Report” (ICC-ASP/20/2/), pursuant to resolution ICC-ASP/19/Res.7, paragraph 5.
- The Board submitted in June 2021 to the Review Mechanism a document relevant to the allocation and assessment duration for the recommendations that were categorized as falling within the TFV’s responsibility.
- The Board and Secretariat, as well as the ICC Registrar, participated in a series of informal meetings with States Parties, initiated and hosted by Sweden, about the IER recommendations in respect of the TFV, which allowed for the sharing of information and views.
Advocacy, Fundraising and Visibility
- The Board increased its engagement with the regional groups, with the consequence that all five Board members engaged individually, supported by the Secretariat, with their respective regional groups in virtual meetings that informed the States of the regions of the status of the TFV activities, the Board’s views on the IER report and the funding needs. The following meetings were held:
- Board member Minou Tavárez Mirabal met with the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States on 23 March 2021, hosted by Costa Rica.
- Board member Sheikh Mohammed Belal met with the Group of Asia Pacific States on 7 April 2021, hosted by the State of Palestine.
- Board member Andres Parmas met with Group of Eastern European States on 10 May 2021, hosted by the Czech Republic.
- Board Chair Mama Koité Doumbia met with the Group of African States on 30 June 2021, hosted by Senegal.
- Board member Baroness Arminka Helić met with the Group of Western European and other States on 6 July 2021, hosted by France.
- On 30 March 2021, the Trust Fund, in collaboration with the Presidency of Mali, hosted a high-level ceremony in Bamako, with the participation of the ICC Prosecutor, Ms Fatou Bensouda, to award a symbolic euro to each the Government of Mali, in relation to moral harm suffered by the Malian population, and to UNESCO, in relation to moral harm suffered by the international community. The euros were handed over by TFV Board Chair Mama Koité Doumbia, who was instrumental to the organization of the event and side events broadly reported in international media and on social media.
- On 24 April 2021 Board member Minou Tavárez Mirabal participated at an event organized by the International Network of Latin American and Caribbean Women (RIMLAC) and the University of Chile, on Women, Democracy, and Human Rights. The keynote speaker at this event was Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, President of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) with Ms Tavárez Mirabal as a commentator of remarks.
- Board member Minou Tavárez Mirabal participated in a breakfast meeting hosted by Liechtenstein on 16 June 2021, when the TFV was invited to provide updates on TFV activities to over 50 Ambassadors, country representatives, and NGOs based in New York.
- On 28 May 2021, the Board Chair, Mama Koité Doumbia represented the Board at the virtual round table meeting between the ICC and non-governmental organizations.
- In June 2021, the Board Chair, Mama Koité Doumbia met with H.E Félix Tshisekedi, President of the DRC and the Minister of Justice H.E. Rose Mutombo Kiese, in Kinshasa. At that meeting, the DRC Government and the TFV agreed to organise a high level joint event, hosted by the DRC President, with the participation of the civil society and diplomatic representation. Due to the additional restrictions imposed as a consequence of the third wave of COVID-19, this event has been rescheduled.
- At the end of June 2021, newly elected Board member Andres Parmas came to The Hague and met in person with the ICC Registrar Peter Lewis and the ICC President Piotr Hofmański. At the beginning of July 2021, Board Chair Mama Koité Doumbia held in-person meetings with ASP President Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, ICC President Piotr Hofmański, ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan QC, and ICC Registrar Peter Lewis.
- The TFV continued its engagement in various advocacy, fundraising activities and meetings with States, international and non-governmental organizations, as reported in more detail in the Report to the Assembly of States Parties on the projects and the activities of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 (ICC-ASP/20/14/).
- In February 2021, the Board decided to address more comprehensively its working methods and to meet virtually once a month – the day and time subject to availability.
- The Board engaged in the drafting of a Policy on working methods and provisionally adopted in July 2021 the Working Methods Policy. The policy has been communicated for comments and views to the Registrar and to the Bureau of the ASP before its final adoption at the Board meeting in September.
Seventh election of the members of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims
- At the beginning of 2021, the Board decided to inform the President of the Assembly of States Parties and the Bureau with on issues relevant to the Board members’ election procedure to be considered for the election procedure of Board members, such as several desired competencies for Board members corresponding with the TFV’s mandates and activities, and the mandate period of ad interim elected TFV Board members,.
Accountability requirements, including Proposed Budget and Report to the Assembly of States Parties
- The Board approved the Proposed Programme Budget for the Secretariat (Major Programme VI) 2022 amounting to €3.39 million, which represents an increase of €188.6 thousand, or of 5.9 per cent, as compared to the 2021 approved budget of €3.20 million. The proposed budget was submitted pursuant to regulation 77(a) of the Regulations of the TFV to be reviewed by the Committee on Budget and Finance. The proposed budget has been included in the overall Proposed Programme Budget for 2022 of the International Criminal Court (ICC-ASP/20/10) and Corrigendum (ICC-ASP/20/10/Corr.1) on 21 July 2021.
- The Board submitted the Report to the Assembly of States Parties on the projects and the activities of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 (ICC-ASP/20/14/), pursuant to regulation 76 of the Regulations to the TFV to the ASP President on 30 July 2021.
- The Board submitted the accounts and Financial statements of the Trust Fund for Victims for the year ended 31 December 2020 (ICC-ASP/20/13/) for review by the External Auditor pursuant to regulation 77(b) of the Regulations of the TFV on 30 June 2021; the External Auditor expressed an unmodified opinion on the financial statements and closed three of four pending recommendations, stating that the remaining recommendation is partially resolved.
- The Board decided to hold a physical meeting in The Hague in the period 30 August – 2 September 2021, ahead of the session of the Committee on Budget and Finance.
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);
Minerva Tavárez Mirabal (Dominican Republic, Latin American and Caribbean States);
Gocha Lordkipanidze (Georgia, Eastern European States) – until February 2021;
Andres Parmas (Estonia, Eastern European States) – from April 2021 onwards.
Secretariat of the Trust Fund for Victims
Pieter de Baan, Executive Director