Friday, June 18, 2010

Legal Advisor Koh and Ambassador Rapp report on US success in Kampala

On Tuesday, Legal Advisor to the Secretary of State Harold Koh and Ambassador-at-Large for War Crime Issues Stephen Rapp gave a press conference regarding the achievements of the US delegation at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala, Uganda from May 31 - June 11.

Legal Advisor Koh and Ambassador Rapp affirmed that the Review Conference was a success from the standpoint of US. The outcome included a successful stocktaking exercise, the inclusion of pledges by numerous countries - including two from the US - and the adoption of amendments on war crimes and the crime of aggression. Regarding the two amendments, Koh reinterated that they are acceptable to US security and "protected our vital interests."

As to the future of US-ICC relations, Legal Adviser Koh stated the following, “After 12 years, I think we have reset the default on the U.S. relationship with the Court from hostility to positive engagement. In this case, principled engagement worked to protect our interest, to improve the outcome, and to bring us renewed international goodwill.”

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