(New York) - The United States should not shortchange protection for humanitarian aid workers in its misguided campaign against the International Criminal Court. The proposed Security Council resolution supporting the safety of aid workers should be immediately placed before the Security Council for a vote and adopted without delay. 
 
"After the tragic killing of aid workers in Baghdad, the U.S. opposition to the proposed resolution is disgraceful," said Richard Dicker, director of Human Rights Watch's International Justice Program. "The United States should not let its ill-conceived and ideologically driven crusade against the International Criminal Court compromise efforts to protect humanitarian aid workers."  
 
The Security Council resolution-introduced by Mexico and co-sponsored by France, Germany, Syria, Bulgaria and Russia-condemns all forms of violence against humanitarian aid workers. The resolution also expresses the Security Council's commitment to protect humanitarian personnel from attack and urges states to ensure accountability for crimes against them.  
 
The United States has said that it will not support the resolution unless a reference to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is removed.  
 
The contested passage merely states that attacks against humanitarian personnel and peacekeepers are a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The U.S. opposition to the resolution on the basis of a statement of fact reflects a wholly irrational objection to the International Criminal Court.  
 
In recent months, the United States has tried to undermine the International Criminal Court's authority through several Security Council resolutions. On June 12, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1487, exempting any peacekeepers from the court's jurisdiction who come from states that have not ratified the International Criminal Court founding treaty.  
 
On August 1, the U.S. government insisted on including a paragraph in a resolution that authorized a peacekeeping force for Liberia that provided immunity for peacekeepers serving in that country. This provision undercut the International Criminal Court Treaty and other important aspects of international law. Security Council members were then forced to choose between deploying peacekeepers to Liberia and upholding established principles of law.