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Cablegate: Ambassador Rice Meeting with Icc President Song

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0981 3070007
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030007Z NOV 09
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7501
INFO RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 9171

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000981
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNGA KJUS
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR RICE MEETING WITH ICC PRESIDENT SONG
1. (SBU) (Begin summary) U.S. Ambassador to the United
Nations Susan Rice met with the President of the
International Criminal Court (ICC), Sang-Hyun Song on
Thursday, October 29. Song hoped that the United States
would participate in the ICC Review Process in Kampala in May
of 2010, and raised concerns that some Asian and Pacific
non-parties fear U.S. retaliation were they to become party
to the Rome Statute. (End summary.)
2. (SBU) President Song said that the Review Conference
will, among other things, take stock of where the ICC is and
where it is going. He hoped that the United States would
actively participate in the Review Conference. Ambassador
Rice explained that the United States is currently reviewing
its ICC policies, and she said that she understood that this
internal review process would come to closure soon.
3. (SBU) President Song said that several Asian and
Pacific heads of Government had raised fears of U.S.
retaliation if their countries were to become party to the
Rome Statute. He said that they raised concerns that the
United States would cut aid if their countries did not sign a
bilateral "Article 98" agreement. President Song said that
he would be grateful if the US Government were to allay these
unfounded fears. Ambassador Rice said that she thought that
the Bush Administration had abandoned those policies, queried
whether these countries were using these fears as an excuse,
but said that she would inform the State Department about
these concerns.
4. (SBU) Ambassador Rice asked President Song how the
Court is dealing with some African countries’ assertions that
the ICC is unfairly targeting African countries. Song said
that he tells Africans that the ICC is a judicial
institution, not a political institution, that three of the
four situations were referred to the ICC by African
countries, and that the fourth was referred to the Court by
the Security Council. He also notes that twenty five per
cent of ICC parties are African.
5. (SBU) Ambassador Rice also said that how the ICC
handles issues concerning the Goldstone Report will be
perceived by many in the US as a test for the ICC, as this is
a very sensitive matter. President Song took pains to
emphasize that, due to his role as an Appeals Judge, he could
not express an opinion regarding the allegations contained in
the Goldstone report and how it will be handled by the ICC.
He also noted, that, first of all, this is a matter for the
Prosecutor, and, secondly, there are various procedural
safeguards in place at the ICC.
Rice

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