action to ratify International Criminal Court
Bangladesh was the
first South Asian State to sign the Rome Statute. It should now fulfil
its pledge to international justice and pave the way for other South
Asian states to do the same by completing the ratification process as
soon as possible . At the close of the Rome Diplomatic Conference, at
which the Statute was signed, Bangladesh declared that its adoption
"represented a giant leap forward in the establishment of justice
and human rights worldwide".
the Rome Statute on 16 September 1999, indicating its intention to ratify
the treaty. To date, it has not done so. When ratifying the treaty,
the government will need to enact legislation allowing the Bangladesh
courts to exercise their primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute
crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and to provide
full co-operation with the International Criminal Court. Amnesty International
is urging the government of Bangladesh to begin the process of enacting
implementing legislation as soon as possible. In the past half century,
millions of victims of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes
have been denied justice, truth and full reparations. The Rome Statute
creates a new system of international justice to end this injustice
and to send a clear message to those planning such horrific crimes that
they will no longer enjoy impunity for their actions.
Criminal Court requires the support of the whole international community.
Amnesty International is encouraging the people of Bangladesh and all
the peoples of South Asia to take part in this action calling on Bangladesh
to ratify the Rome Statute as soon as possible. In doing so, they will
be joining the struggle to end impunity for these horrific crimes forever.
is an edited version of the website action of Amnesty International.
withdraws resolution on ICC immunity
among the members of the U.N. Security Council, the United States this
morning withdrew a draft resolution that would have exempted U.S. personnel
from prosecution by the U.N. permanent war crimes tribunal.
James Cunningham said although he felt the draft fairly addressed the
concerns of all council members, "the United States has decided
not to proceed further with consideration and action on the draft at
this time in order in avoid a prolonged and divisive debate."
The 15-member council
was deeply divided over the issue, with most countries seeing the draft
and the two identical resolutions the council adopted in the previous
two years as an attack on the legitimacy of the International Criminal
Court. The Iraq and Afghanistan prisoner abuse scandals, in which U.S.
soldiers tormented detainees in violation of the Geneva Conventions,
intensified opposition to the measure.
While no country
was likely to vote against the draft, council Diplomats said it was
likely that there would be enough abstentions to deny the United States
the nine votes needed to pass the resolution.
today that Washington would remember the forfeiture when it came to
future votes on U.N. peacekeeping operations.
"In the absence
of a new resolution, the United States will need to take into account
the risk of ICC review when determining contributions to U.N.-authorised
or established [peacekeeping] operations," he said.
said they were pleased the United States decided not to press the draft
to a vote.
"It is better
not to present a draft resolution to a vote when the council appears
to be divided," Ambassador Heraldo Munoz of Chile said.
"This is better
than voting on such an important issue and appear divided after the
consensus and the unity we showed on Iraq" (Jim Wurst, U.N. Wire,
With council members
clearly balking at the proposal, the United States yesterday offered
a compromise proposal that would make this year the last it seeks exemptions
(Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times, June 23).
States is the biggest provider of global security and we have special
concerns in this area," Cunningham said after offering up the concession.
"We agreed to the change because members of the council are becoming
increasingly uncomfortable. We are willing to take this step to preserve
council support and to provide a year to phase out this arrangement."
U.N. Secretary General
Kofi Annan's warnings last week that the council could undermine its
authority by approving the U.S. resolution may have influenced some
council members, according to diplomats.
UNwire 24 June, 2004.