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U.K. Support for War Crimes Court "Significant"

International Criminal Court Closer Than Ever to Reality

(New York) - The United Kingdom's ratification of the International Criminal Court treaty is especially significant because the U.K. is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and close ally of the United States.  
The United Kingdom today became the forty-second state to ratify the treaty. Sixty ratifications are needed to establish the court, which will likely be in 2002.  
The United States continues to oppose the treaty for an international criminal court, which will try future cases of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. If the court were in existence now, it could try the perpetrators of the September 11 attack against the World Trade Center, a crime against humanity.  
The U.K.'s ratification will generate additional pressure on the United States to bring its policy into line with that of its European allies, Human Rights Watch said.  
"It's very significant that the United Kingdom has ratified the treaty so promptly," said Richard Dicker, director of the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch. "Now the United States is really very isolated in its opposition."  
Reflecting the growing momentum behind the court, Nigeria, Liechtenstein and the Central African Republic also recently ratified the treaty. Nigeria's ratification on September 27 and that of the Central African Republic yesterday reflect the strong support among African countries for the court. Liechtenstein, in ratifying on October 1, continued Western Europe's almost unanimous support for the International Criminal Court.

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