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UN Members Reaffirm ICC Support

UN Member States Reaffirm Support for the ICC in General Assembly

US Backs Down on its Attempted Challenges against the ICC

(New York, November 19, 2004) – In the face of US attempts this week to have the International Criminal Court (ICC) taken off the United Nations General Assembly agenda, the UN Sixth (Legal) Committee unanimously passed its ICC resolution – a resolution which has been unchallenged for more than ten years – earlier this afternoon. In their strong show of support for the Court, states that have ratified the ICC treaty successfully forged a united front of resistance against efforts that would have undermined both the ICC and its relationship with the United Nations.

Rather than face a lost vote and heated confrontation with many of its key allies, the US relented in its initial attempt to remove the ICC entirely from the Assembly’s agenda, as well as in its effort to make the Court liable for covering any costs involved in General Assembly discussions on the ICC. These US challenges came just weeks after the signing of an historic agreement between the UN and the ICC on October 4 which established a legal foundation for cooperation between the two independent organizations.

“The support for the ICC shown today in the General Assembly is a truly hopeful sign that governments around the world won’t allow the US’ isolated ideological opposition to the Court to wreck this crucial structure of global justice or threaten the relationship the UN has with the ICC,” said William Pace, Convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court which includes over 2,000 civil society groups from around the world. “By standing up to US pressure, the ICC States Parties not only defended the ICC, they also sent a vital show of support for the international rule of law which has been so seriously under siege around the world.”

The positive outcome on today’s resolution at the UN echoes the June 2004 US withdrawal of the Security Council resolution that provided for ICC exemption for US personnel in UN missions. When the US realized that this Security Council resolution would not garner the nine votes necessary for its adoption, they announced that they would not pursue any further action on the resolution.

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