"There is broad support in this country across political and ideological divides that perpetrators of genocide, mass atrocities, and war crimes must be held accountable.
When President Clinton signed the Rome Treaty, he noted our serious concerns about the treaty. But he signed, nonetheless, to underline this basic principle, and to signal that the United States would seek to address the concerns we had about the treaty, as well as to ensure that the institution operated as effectively as possible. The Bush administration’s “unsigning” of the ICC not only damaged our international standing, it also separated us from our allies, with whom we have a shared interest in promoting accountability for war crimes and atrocities.
Fortunately, some of the worst fears about the ICC have not been borne out. The institution was created to prompt the development of justice institutions in countries that lacked them, and to assure accountability for the worst human rights crimes in countries where those institutions do not exist. It has over the past eight years operated on that basis. The ICC has also avoided politicized prosecutions.
The Bush administration has begun to cooperate with the ICC in allowing referral of indicted war criminals in Darfur to the Court, and signaling a willingness to share information with the Court pertaining to those prosecutions.
Consistent with my overall policy of reintroducing the United States to the world, I will as President evaluate the record of Court, and reassess how we can best engage with this institution and hold the worst abusers of human rights to account."
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