Ambassador for War Crimes Issues, Pierre Prosper, stated Thursday that the Bush Administration is considering “unsigning” the treaty authorizing the soon-to-be launched International Criminal Court (ICC). The Court will achieve the additional four ratifications necessary to enter into effect on April 11, 2002. “Unsigning” the ICC treaty would mean that President Bush would send a letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations indicating formally that the US has no intention of ever ratifying the treaty and wishes to be released from its obligations. Under the Vienna Convention that regulates treaties, signatories are obligated not to undermine the purposes or objectives of a treaty. According to the UN Under-Secretary for Legal Affairs no country has ever left a UN treaty unsigned. British Foreign Minister Jack Straw has reportedly warned Secretary of State Colin Powell several times over the last few days that attacking the Court will provoke a clash with European allies.
The ICC, if established, would be a permanent court designed to prosecute war criminals, genocide in addition to crimes against humanity, which include gender crimes. Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the ICC also presents clear language defining gender crimes to include rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity.