(New York) - United Nations member states should use the rare opportunity of tomorrow's "open meeting" of the United Nations Security Council to voice their opposition to U.S. attacks on the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Canada, New Zealand, Jordan, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, all strong ICC supporters, have requested the open meeting to allow many other non-Council members to express their opposition to Security Council Resolution 1422.
The United States threatened one year ago to veto U.N. peacekeeping missions unless the Security Council approved Resolution 1422. The resolution grants immunity from ICC prosecution to personnel in U.N. operations who are citizens of states that have not ratified the ICC. It was passed on July 12, 2002, for a renewable twelve-month period, and is coming up for renewal this week.
"The Security Council does not have the authority to rewrite an international treaty, and that's what this resolution does," said Richard Dicker, director of the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch. "The United States expected to renew Resolution 1422 without a murmur, and they're going to get an open debate instead. Objections to the resolution are alive and well."
The ICC treaty gives the court jurisdiction over nationals of state parties, and over crimes that occur on the territory of a state party, no matter what the nationality of the accused. The United States has always disagreed with the court's ability to prosecute this latter category. But the treaty, including that provision, has now been signed by nearly 140 states and ratified by 90.
"We don't want to see this resolution get passed without debate, creating a permanent hole in the court's authority," said Dicker. "That's why it's very important to register opposition to the resolution in the Security Council debate."
The open debate is scheduled for the morning of June 12. The Council's vote is likely to take place later that day.
For more information on the International Criminal Court, please visit https://www.hrw.org/campaigns/icc/