Global Policy Forum

US Attempts to Delete ICC from UN Security Council Resolution Undermine Advances Made

Coalition for the International Criminal Court
December 16, 2005

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) - a global network of more than 2,000 non- governmental and civil society organizations that support a fair, effective and independent International Criminal Court (ICC) - has today called on the UN Security Council to counter current attempts by the United States to delete all references to the ICC in the Security Council's upcoming Resolution on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. This resolution aims to address key developments that have taken place in the past five years since the Council's last resolution on the protection of civilians (SC Resolution 1296, 19 April 2000). Despite overwhelming recognition at the UN Security Council open debate of the importance of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the reference to the ICC in the draft Security Council resolution is now in jeopardy because of the sole objections of the United States.

While deliberations continue at the UN, the Council is looking to adopt a final version of the resolution by early next week. In his comments last Friday at the Security Council debate, UN Under- Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland stressed the important role that the ICC plays in assisting in the deterrence of massive crimes against civilians when he stated, "[E]fforts to deter war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide and to break the prevailing culture of impunity in situations of armed conflict [have] been boosted by the establishment of the International Criminal Court." The 2005 Report of the UN Secretary-General on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict reiterated this same emphasis on the ICC's role in protecting civilians when Secretary- General Kofi Annan stated: "In the case of Darfur, the Security Council, through its referral to the International Criminal Court, reaffirmed its commitment to adopt appropriate measures to address the deliberate targeting of civilian populations and systematic, flagrant and widespread violations of international humanitarian and human rights law."

In addition to abstaining from the vote on the Security Council resolution referring the situation in Darfur to the ICC on 31 March 2005 and thereby allowing the referral to go through, the US has spelled out its commitment to assisting the ICC as recently as last month when US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer stated at a Committee on International Relations hearing on Sudan that in relation to the Security Council's Darfur referral, "[US] Ambassador Zoellick has signaled that if the ICC requires assistance, the United States stands ready for any assistance."

Speaking on behalf of the global coalition, CICC Convenor William Pace said, "Security Council Resolutions 1265(1999) and 1296(2000) set important precedents on the ICC. Now that the ICC has become a reality, it is more important than ever to include reference to the ICC and not retreat from strong precedents that have been established. In light of US acknowledgements about the role the ICC has to play in the Darfur situation, US objections on the current resolution seem contrary to the message coming out of the US State Department in recent months. Hypocrisy towards impunity devalues the United States' leadership and is inappropriate for the government that claims to be the leading permanent member of the Security Council."

More Information on International Justice
More Information on the International Criminal Court in the Security Council
More Information on US Opposition to the International Criminal Court
More Information on International Criminal Court Investigations


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