12/04/2009 - 4:08pm
U.S. Government Recognizes the Value of the International Criminal Court
Posted by Komal Hiranandani
Today, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Rosemary A. DiCarlo, made a statement expressing concern over the tragic conflict in Darfur. Significantly, she conveyed the importance of resolving the issue through the lens of the International Criminal Court and its crucial role in ending impunity for heinous crimes such as those committed in Sudan.
DiCarlo emphasized the Sudanese government’s non-cooperation with the ICC. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1593 referred the Darfur situation to the ICC, providing the court with jurisdiction in the area. Since the resolution was adopted under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, it is binding an all U.N. members regardless of whether they are State Parties of the ICC, which neither the U.S. nor Sudan are. DiCarlo lamented Sudanese non-cooperation despite this resolution, and noted the government’s responsibility in prolonging the conflict by killing civilians and impeding the improvement of the humanitarian situation.
Most importantly, DiCarlo recognized that the ICC’s greatest value lies in its being the only permanent international institution capable of bringing to justice the leaders of mass atrocities around the world, such as that in Darfur. She said, “we believe that the ICC's prosecution of the key architects of the conflict in Darfur remains critical, "and added: “Those responsible for these atrocities must be held accountable.”
Finally, DiCarlo reiterated the U.S.’s newly initiated engagement with the ICC, noting that the U.S. participated for the first time in the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute as an observer- a move that Citizens for Global Solutions welcomes and has strongly advocated. DiCarlo said: “This decision reflected the U.S. commitment to engage with the international community on issues that affect our foreign policy interests. Ending impunity for crimes against humanity—including crimes on the staggering scale of those committed in Darfur—ranks high among our commitments. The United States will therefore continue to be supportive of the ICC’s prosecution of these cases, to the extent consistent with U.S. domestic law.”
The U.S.’ acknowledgement of the ICC’s importance and the re-opening of U.S. engagement with the court after former President Bush shut it down are extremely vital developments. The Obama Administration is on the right track here.
Next step: ratify the Rome Statute and become a member of the ICC.
Read DiCarlo’s full statement here
Act NOW to Support strengthened US engagement with the ICC!
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