Tuesday, June 08, 2010

US Delegation in Kampala Lauds Review Conference Stocktaking, Makes Pledges in Support of Justice for Atrocity Crimes

Today in the fifth plenary of the Review Conference, which was considering and adopting reports and recommendations on stocktaking of international criminal justice, US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Stephen Rapp thanked the drafters of the conference’s declaration on cooperation. In particular, he was pleased that paragraph 7 of the declaration encourages countries that have not joined the Court to support it. He also expressed the US’ satisfaction at the success of the stocktaking element of the conference, calling it “an enormous success” and a great contribution to advancing international justice.

In connection with the stocktaking of international justice, which consisted of two days of events on the four issues of state cooperation with the ICC, the capacity of domestic courts to deal with ICC crimes, victims and affected communities and peace and justice, countries here in Kampala made concrete “pledges” committing themselves to support the ICC and international justice. Over 30 countries that have joined the ICC made pledges. The US was the only non-State Party to make pledges:

  • The United States renews its commitment to support rule-of-law and capacity building projects which will enhance states’ ability to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
  • The United States reaffirms President Obama’s recognition on May 25, 2010 that we must renew our commitments and strengthen our capabilities to protect and assist civilians caught in the LRA’s wake, to receive those that surrender, and to support to bring the LRA leadership to justice.

The ICC has issued arrest warrants for four leaders of the LRA, or Lord’s Resistance Army, of Northern Uganda. Its leaders, including Joseph Kony, are at large and wanted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Click here to read President Obama's statement about the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009 and its relation to the ICC.

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