US Continues Fight to Exempt Troops from the ICC

As the July 1 deadline for the International Criminal Court (ICC) war crime proceedings quickly approaches, the Bush administration continues to insist that US troops and other US officials be exempted from the tribunal’s jurisdiction. According to the Boston Globe, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell last month urged all US ambassadors to pursue international agreements mutually “protecting” nationals from the ICC. In the meantime, at the United Nations, the US Ð threatening to withdraw US troops from UN peacekeeping operations Ð continues to seek support for a resolution exempting all UN peacekeepers from prosecution. For example, in a resolution proposed just last week on peacekeeping in East Timor, the US called for criminal immunity to all former and current UN personnel. The UN Security Council defeated the resolution, with one official stating, “The whole point of the court is that it is to be universal.”

Sixty-six countries have ratified the ICC Treaty. Following the Bush administration’s “un-signing” of the Rome Statute earlier this month, Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham criticized, “I think there’s a certain irony in the fact that the United States, which tends to extraterritorially apply its laws rather widely, is not willing to participate in a truly international consensus [for the ICC].”


Boston Globe, 5/23/02; Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, 5/6/02; Feminist Majority Foundation; Washington Times, 5/7/02

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