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Global Support for ICC Reaffirmed

Global Support for the International Criminal Court Reaffirmed

Legitimacy of the Security Council preserved

WHAT: After weeks of negotiations and faced with continued opposition, the US government withdrew its request for renewal of the Security Council resolution exempting its peacekeepers from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. This was announced after informal consultations during which it became clear that a last-minute US-proposed compromise text would not get the required support.

WHEN: Adopted as Resolution 1422 in July 2002, and renewed as Resolution 1487 in June 2003, the Resolution requested that the ICC not proceed with investigations or prosecutions of officials participating in UN peacekeeping or authorized missions who are from countries that have not yet ratified the Rome Statue to the ICC. While the resolution was adopted unanimously in 2002, three countries (France, Germany and Syria) abstained from the vote in June 2003, signaling that the resolution would not be routinely renewed each year. Resolution 1487 will expire on June 30, 2004.

HOW: Faced with mounting opposition to the renewal of the same text as Resolution 1487, the United States proposed a compromise text to amend the Security Council resolution. The compromise text reportedly acknowledged that this would be the final renewal of the resolution.

Many governments were reportedly influenced by the UN Secretary General's strong appeal, that "extending the exemption once more would contradict the efforts of the United Nations - including the Council itself - to promote the rule of law in international affairs."

Today, informal consultations revealed that this compromise text would not garner the nine votes necessary for its adoption. The United States subsequently announced it would not pursue any further action on the resolution.

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NB: Further information on Security Council Resolutions 1422 and 1487 can be found online at:

Note to the Editor: The ICC treaty currently has 94 States Parties, following recent ratifications by Burkina Faso and Congo- Brazzaville. The ICC has furthermore received two referrals from ICC States Parties - Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)- requesting that the Prosecutor investigate alleged human rights abuses, and today announced the launch of formal investigations in the situation in DRC.

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