The United Nations 15th Assembly of States Parties (ASP) is set to take place between November 16-24, 2016 and one the main item on the menu will be the future of the UN’s International Criminal Court, which many countries around the world have threatened to pull out of an abandon.
The issue stems from the fact that despite the United Nations remaining an “independent arbitrator” on world affairs and events, some countries get treated on a sliding scale based on their size and power in the geo-political landscape. For example despite the United States being the worlds foremost exporter of weapons, not once has the country ever been charged in the UN’s ICC. Meanwhile, underdeveloped 3rd world countries across Africa and around the world are brought into this court on a regular basis.
It is a double standard that is apparent for everyone to see and consequentially, is also the reason so many countries are threatening to leave the United Nations ICC right now.
With that said, as we are seeing today 11/16/2016, on the first day of discussions many countries around the world have shown they are agreeing to cooperate with one another in order build a better system which will benefit all states equally in the future – instead of just up an leaving the system altogether. Though the organization remains critical of the UN and the ICC, one of the leading voices in the fight for unity and fairness in the international justice system is none other than Amnesty International.
A day before the Assembly began on November 15th 2016, Amnesty International issued a press release explaining how “Victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations deserve to have their day in court….This session must not be dominated by the cynical political decisions of a small number of governments to leave the Court. Instead, its supporters must focus on making the system stronger.”
Pleading that “Rather than choosing to abandon what is in many cases the only avenue towards justice for millions of vulnerable victims of crimes under international law, states must engage in good faith with the International Criminal Court. They must use their collective power to challenge the double standards, shameful failures and politicization of justice by the UN Security Council.”
To solve the problem, Amnesty International has made several recommendations:
- Call on states parties to: Affirm their support for the ICC and for South Africa, Gambia and Burundi to reconsider their decisions to withdraw from the Court;
- Call on permanent members of the UN Security Council to refrain from using their veto power to block referrals to the Prosecutor of the ICC of situations involving war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide;
- Support the approval of sufficient resources so that the ICC can expand its investigations in 2017;
- Develop better systems to ensure the cooperation of governments with the Court, particularly in arresting and surrendering suspects;
- Ensure that any amendments to the Court’s legal framework achieve the highest standards of fairness for the accused while respecting the rights of victims and witnesses.
This past Monday, 11/14/2016, The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it may stop granting the United States/CIA immunity and allow victims of torture and various Wars to bring charges against the US government through the international court system.
According to their report published Monday, “Members of US armed forces appear to have subjected at least 61 detained persons to torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity on the territory of Afghanistan between 1 May 2003 and 31 December 2014.”
Going on to add that the alleged War Crimes “were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals. Rather, they appear to have been committed as part of approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract ‘actionable intelligence’ from detainees.”
Furthermore, “The information available suggests that victims were deliberately subjected to physical and psychological violence, and that crimes were allegedly committed with particular cruelty and in a manner that debased the basic human dignity of the victims.”
As reported by TheAntiMedia 11/15/16, “ICC prosecutors have said they will decide “imminently” whether to seek authorization to open a full investigation into the United States’ conduct in Afghanistan that could then lead to war crimes charges.
In order to open a full investigation, ICC prosecutors have to establish whether the court has jurisdiction and whether the alleged crimes are already being investigated and prosecuted in the countries involved.
Even though the United States is not a member of the ICC, because the crimes were reportedly committed in Afghanistan (a member of the ICC) the American personnel responsible can ultimately face prosecution at the court’s headquarters in the Hague, which is located in the Netherlands.”
Independent from the gathering of the Assembly this week and the inner workings of the United Nations in general, many citizens around the world are actively preparing to bring individual lawsuits against the United States government as a result of their War campaigns over the last two decades.
You see, though the United States is one of the few countries granted immunity in the UN’s International Criminal Court, the 9/11 Bill bypasses anything to do with ICC itself and allows foreign governments/citizens to sue the United States Government – inside US court rooms.
This was something that was never a possibility before the passing of the 9/11 Bill just two months ago.
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