PERMANENT REPRESENTATION OF THE PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA BEFORE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS BASED IN THE HAGUE
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
The Embassy of Bolivia participates permanently in the coordination meetings of The Hague Working Group of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In 2021, Bolivia actively participated in the election process of Prosecutor Mr. Karim Khan (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. Ms. Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi (Argentina) served as President of the Assembly from February 13, 2021 to December 2023, when the Assembly of States Parties concluded.
The Representation of Bolivia facilitates complementarity, cooperation, governance, budget issues, and other areas essential for the Court’s work as a whole. It also continues to participate in the Review Mechanism process, which aims at planning, coordinating, and monitoring the recommendations included in the Report issued by the Group of Independent Experts. The Review Mechanism has categorized the recommendations, developed a transparent and inclusive Action Plan, and continues to serve as a platform to follow up on recommendations to strengthen the ICC.
During this period, the Embassy has worked and participated in the coordination of The Hague Working Group for the twentieth session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP20) to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was held in The Hague from December 6 to 11, 2021.
As part of the voting to take place during that session, two Deputy Prosecutors will be elected to support the current Prosecutor, Mr. Karim A. A. Khan (United Kingdom), and the composition of the Advisory Nominating Committee and the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims will be also chosen.
Judge Nominations to the Advisory Committee (CPI)
The Bureau of the Assembly of States Parties to the ICC decided that the nomination period for Judges to the Advisory Committee would take place in June 2021. The members of the Committee are appointed for a three-year term, with the possibility of one re-election. The Committee’s mandate is to facilitate the appointment of the most qualified individuals as judges to the International Criminal Court.
Former Ambassador Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé has been a member of the Committee since December 2018 and Bolivia has presented his candidacy for a re-election. Hence, the steps have been taken before the GRULAC coordination and before the Secretariat of the Assembly of States Parties to comply with the nomination procedure within the established deadline.
As a result of these efforts, the GRULAC supported the application for reelection, and the Bolivian candidate is part of the list of nine members elected by acclamation during the twentieth session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP20) to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court completes preliminary allegation examination process
This Representation took all necessary steps to transmit confidential information regarding the application filed by the illegitimate Government of Bolivia, and its then Prosecutor, José María Cabrera, on September 4, 2020 based on alleged fictitious and baseless accusations concerning alleged crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court allegedly committed in Bolivia in August 2020. It should be recalled that on September 9, 2020, former Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had announced the opening of a preliminary examination of the situation in order to determine whether there was a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation in accordance with the criteria set out in the Rome Statute and that, on September 15, 2020, the President of the ICC assigned Bolivia’s case to the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber ILL.
The Representation maintained permanent contact with the Registrar of the International Criminal Court (ICC), holding meetings with Mr. Piotr Hofmanski, President of the ICC, Mr. Karim A. A. Khan Q. C., Prosecutor of the ICC, and Mr. Peter Lewis, its Secretary General.
On February 14, 2022, the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC informed of the termination of the preliminary examination process and determined that there is an insufficient basis to establish whether the alleged crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court had been committed. The decision was made that the alleged conduct does not present contextual elements constituting crimes against humanity, inasmuch as the information available does not constitute sufficient grounds to believe that the alleged acts committed by the organizers of the demonstrations and those who participated in them would constitute a campaign directed against the civilian population of Bolivia, enough to qualify as an attack within the meaning and scope of Article 7 of the Statute and to determine that the alleged acts attributed to those who participated in the demonstrations would not constitute relevant crimes referred to in Article 7, para. 1, of the Statute.
It is in this sense that the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court terminated the preliminary examination process due to baseless allegations from the unconstitutional Government of Jeaninne Añez concerning alleged crimes related to the road blockades throughout the country in August 2020.
Prosecutor Khan has now determined that the available information does not constitute a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court were committed in Bolivia in connection with the nationwide road blockades carried out in August 2020.
The OTP report is published on the ICC’s official website https://www.icc-cpi.int//Pages/item.aspx?name=20220214-otp-statement&ln=Spanish in English and French.
INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
It is the main judicial organ of the United Nations (UN) based at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands); it is responsible for deciding legal disputes between States.
It is regarded as the instance to resolve conflicts between States peacefully. It should be recalled that Bolivia, in April 2013, instituted proceedings against the Republic of Chile in relation to “Chile’s obligation to negotiate in good faith and effectively with Bolivia to reach an agreement that grants Bolivia a fully sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean.”
Defense of the Silala
Bolivia’s national and international team has protected Bolivia’s rights over the waters of the Silala within the framework of international law. Bolivia has a high level legal and scientific team, with experience in international litigation, and has presented solid arguments before the ICJ to defend its interests over the waters of the Silala.
The team of lawyers comprising Bolivia’s defense before the International Court of Justice includes: Alain Pellet, Rodman Bundy, Mathias Forteau, Gabriel Eckstein, Francesco Sindico, Laura Movilla, Edgardo Sobenes and Héloïse Bajer-Pellet, as well as the scientific experts from the Danish Hydraulics Institute, DHI: Roar Jensen, Michael Gabora and Torsten Jacobsen.
Link to the status of the case regarding the Dispute over the Status and Use of the Waters of the Silala (Chile vs. Bolivia): https://www.icj-cij.org/en/case/162
Dispute regarding the Status and Use of the Waters of the Silala (Chile vs. Bolivia)
The oral pleadings stage was held in April 2022:
- The first round of pleadings, held between Friday, April 1 and Wednesday, April 6, took place in four hearings, in which both Chile and Bolivia presented their positions and made observations.
- Examination – In two hearings, on Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8, the scientific experts who presented independent scientific studies during the written stage were examined.
- Second round of oral pleadings; the second round of oral pleadings began on Monday, April 11 and ended on April 14, with the parties presenting their conclusions and final claims in three hearings.
Opening presentation by the Agent of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, H.E. Mr. Roberto Calzadilla Sarmiento, read full document: https://embassyofbolivia.nl/ootsegla/2022/04/S.E.-Sr.-R.-Calzadilla-Sarmiento_Discurso-de-Apertura-del-Agente-de-Bolivia-VERSIO%CC%81N-DEFINITIVA_VERBATIM-TRADUCCIO%CC%81N-06-de-abril-de-2022.pdf
ORGANIZATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS (OPCW)
The OPCW’s mission is to implement the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention with the aim of achieving a world free of chemical weapons and the threat of their use.
The Embassy permanently follows up on the meetings and informal consultations on the implementation of the Convention and during the current administration has actively participated in the following meetings within the framework of the Organization.
The Embassy has worked and participated in the OPCW meetings during the Conference of States Parties (CSP-26), which took place from Monday, November 29 to Friday, December 3, 2021 in The Hague and is currently also involved in the preparatory work for the Conference of States Parties (CSP-27) that will take place at the end of 2022.
PERMANENT COURT OF ARBITRATION
The Permanent Court of Arbitration, established by Treaty in 1899, is an intergovernmental organization that provides a variety of dispute resolution services to the international community.
Bolivia, as a contracting party of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), once again has a list of Bolivians on the list of Court Members, who in turn are part of the National Group, which has the capacity to nominate candidates for Judges to the International Court of Justice.
The Members of the Court are potential arbitrators appointed by the Contracting Parties. They are persons of “known competence in matters of international law, of the highest moral character and willing to accept the functions of arbitrators” as “Members of the Court”. Members of the Court are appointed for a term of six years, and their appointments may be renewed.
The updated list of the members of the Court can be reviewed at the following link: https://pca-cpa.org/en/about/structure/members-of-the-court/.
Within the framework of the PCA’s competence, Bolivia has had the following cases concluded, which are of knowledge of the Office of the Attorney General of the Plurinational State of Bolivia:
- [Iberdrola, S.A. (Spain) 2. Iberdrola Energía, S.A.U. (Spain) v. The Plurinational State of Bolivia.
- [2013-15] South American Silver Limited (Bermuda) v. The Plurinational State of Bolivia.
- [Guaracachi America, Inc. (U.S.A.) & 2. Rurelec plc (United Kingdom) v. The Plurinational State of Bolivia.
And the following cases are pending conclusion:
- Zurich Insurance Company Ltd. & Zurich South America Invest AB v. The Plurinational State of Bolivia.
- [2020-47] Consorcio Cementero del Sur S.A., Yura Inversiones Bolivia S.A., Grupo de Inversiones Gloria Bolivia S.A., Sociedad Boliviana de Cemento S.A. v. Plurinational State of Bolivia. Plurinational State of Bolivia.
- [2018-39] 1. The Estate of Julio Miguel Orlandini-Agreda, 2. Compañía Minera Orlandini Ltda. v. The Plurinational State of Bolivia.
- [2016-39] Glencore Finance (Bermuda) Limited v. The Plurinational State of Bolivia.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN GROUP (GRULAC)
The Embassy and Representation of the Plurinational State of Bolivia chairs, since June 2022, the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) in The Hague, which is responsible for coordinating with the countries of the region on various issues of interest within the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), the International Criminal Court (ICC), among others. The group also works in favor of the interests of the region by organizing meetings with authorities of the Dutch Government to discuss the current situation, hold dialogue and enhance the relations between the region and the Netherlands.
NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT AND CHINA (NAM) AT THE HAGUE
As part of the Non-Aligned Movement and China, Bolivia participates in the coordination meetings held in preparation for the sessions of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the Conference of States Parties.
In this regard, the NAM proposes a draft Declaration to the members of the Non-Aligned Movement that are States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which is submitted on behalf of the group by the coordinating country.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR BOLIVIAN WOMEN AT INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN THE HAGUE
Find information on available vacancies in international organizations to which you can apply.
- Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Vacancies available: https://www.opcw.org/work-us/employment
- International Criminal Court
Vacancies available: https://www.icc-cpi.int/jobs