U.S. Given Exemption From War Crimes Prosecution
The Associated Press
Thursday 12 June 2003
Security Council OKs one-year immunity from international court, but Annan warns against seeking to make resolution permanent
UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council today approved another one-year exemption for American peacekeepers from prosecution by the new international war crimes tribunal.
France, Germany and Syria abstained, apparently ignoring a U.S. appeal not to further strain the bitter trans-Atlantic division over the war against Iraq.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke out strongly against any attempt to try to make the exemption permanent — which the United States initially sought. He warned that this would not only undermine the International Criminal Court but the authority of the Security Council “and the legitimacy of United Nations peacekeeping.”
The resolution, adopted by a vote of 12-0 with the three abstentions, authorizes a year-long exemption from arrest or trial for peacekeepers from the United States and other countries that have not ratified the Rome treaty establishing the court.
France and Germany, both members of the European Union, were in the forefront of opposition to the U.S.-led war against Iraq. Last week, the United States warned the EU that its promotion of the court was putting more strains on trans-Atlantic relations.
But during an open Security Council debate before the vote, Greece’s U.N. Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis, speaking on behalf of the EU, put the United States on notice that “automatic renewal would be undermining to the letter and the spirit of the Rome Treaty and its fundamental purpose.”
All 15 EU nations are among the 90 countries that are party to the court, which will prosecute cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed after July 1, 2002. The court will step in only when countries are unwilling or unable to dispense justice themselves.
The court got another boost Wednesday when China’s U.N. Ambassador Wang Yingfan said his country was “positively considering” ratifying the Rome Treaty. Beijing was one of seven countries that voted against the Rome statute but in the last four years has taken a more positive attitude.
“China’s change reflects a growing support worldwide for the ICC and international justice,” said William Pace, who heads the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, which represents over 1,000 organizations supporting the tribunal.
The administration of former President Clinton signed the 1988 Rome treaty setting up the court but the Bush administration rescinded the U.S. signature.
It contends that Americans could be subject to the court’s jurisdiction even if it is not a party to the pact. Washington argues that the court could be used for frivolous or politically motivated prosecutions of American troops.
During today’s debate, Canada’s U.N. Ambassador Paul Heinbecker appealed to the council to ensure that the exemption doesn’t become permanent and emphasized that “the ICC is not a court for frivolous prosecutions.” He noted safeguards put in the treaty at U.S. request to ensure that such prosecutions will be screened out.
Last July, the council unanimously approved a one-year exemption.
Seeking to avoid a replay of last year’s confrontation, Washington asked on Monday for a quick vote on its resolution. But non-council nations asked for — and got — an open council meeting before the vote.
During last year’s battle, the United States threatened to end far-flung peacekeeping operations established or authorized by the United Nations — from Afghanistan and the Mideast to Bosnia and Sierra Leone — if it didn’t get an exemption.
The final deal dented the court’s underlying principle that no one should be exempt from punishment for war crimes, and it angered court supporters and human rights groups.
Annan told the Security Council during today’s debate that although he could accept that the request for a one-year extension should be approved this year since the court is in its infancy, he believes it should not become permanent and violates the Rome statute.
After today’s vote, U.S. deputy ambassador James Cunningham called the Rome Treaty “fatally flawed” and said the resolution represented a compromise that should be respected by all nations. He denied that it violated the treaty.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
Original Document: http://truthout.org/docs_03/061403E.shtml
Well what can you say? It seems that the US has more power from the UN now that they manage to exempt the US from being prosecuted by the new international war crimes tribunal. I mean we all do know that really, but what the hell was the purpose of the international war crimes tribunal if not to prosecute human rights’ offenders? The actions of the US exempting it’s peacekeepers only adds much more suspicion towards the peacekeepers.
I mean just look at the reason Bush gave for the exemption, “… the court could be used for frivolous or politically motivated prosecutions of American troops.” What the fuck!?
“During last year’s battle, the United States threatened to end far-flung peacekeeping operations established or authorized by the United Nations — from Afghanistan and the Mideast to Bosnia and Sierra Leone — if it didn’t get an exemption.”
Man, what a bunch of sissies. Hell, they gonna do an “Iraq” on other countries without even fearing retribution from the world court.
[“Doing an Iraq” is a term I wanna introduce to the world, and it means a bigger and powerful country or entity bullying another much smaller and weaker country or entity. I ain’t hoping it to be a big term, but hey, I’m gonna use it henceforthonwards. Hey and I know it ain’t catchy, so sod off…]
Yay! I got the Golden Web Awards presented by the The International Association of Web Masters and Designers… Which I’m sure if anyone submits their own site, they will almost definitely get it. Why? Coz I was reading the email that notified me of the results, and mostly I see links that will bring you to sites/sections that requires you to pay. So this is somekind of a legit scam, I think. They even have plaques to commemorate the awards for just USD$19.95. Bargain!
Well, I’m not out to bad mouth this service, and I do admit it does have some weight and advantages. Such as letting you know that your site ain’t all that bad. Or something. So it’s all good. And it’s free. So that ain’t bad.
OH MY GOD!!!
Well I just finished typing up my letter of resignation, and tidying up my computer of all suspicious materials, coz the 16th will be my last day here. Heh… Couldn’t have imagined I’d be missing this place, my *open* cubicle, people who I talk to everyday a stone’s throw away, the walk to the canteen, hanging out at the canteen, ogling at that, oh-so-lovely-chick, then curse a million times knowing that she’s engaged, going out everyday to Gadong and/or Kiulap, not knowing what the hell to do…
Even if I miss all those things, there’s one thing I won’t miss, seeing my supervisor’s smug face. Yes, I hate his guts, and yes I wish he was a character in Postal 2. And that’s reason enough to leave. And hey, I overstayed my welcome here anywhere. I was only supposed to be working here for three months, but currently, it’s already 3 and a half months. Why? Coz I have the decency to finish what I started, that is to finish the stupid Flash E-Tuition thing, which I know will never be released to the public anyway considering the sad state it is in (only one level, Primary 6, out of oh… How many classes is completed? Yeah dude, you’re just bullshitting to the Deputy Managing Director and every other visitor that comes in here…) Yeah I’d be gone off the face of the Internet for these couple of months, lest I get the laptop… Yeah… Sayonara guys and gals…
Heh… Yeah… I’m rather lazy today… Just pictures…
Took the geek test today at this site, and I got this result… Well, I am a geek but not that geeky… Rather respectable score if you ask me…
This one is for Adeeb, aka h3ll_y3ah who wanted a gif animation on his phone…
Taking a cue from Chris Pirillo’s face on boobs shenanigans,
Brunei Readies e-Government To Generate Jobs For Locals
Bandar Seri Begawan – Brunei is ready to exploit ICT to its optimum potentials to put in place the $1 billion e-government expected to generate job opportunities for locals.
The government is critical to the development of ICT. It has allocated $1 billion towards the implementation of the e-government project.
Deputy Minister of Education, Dato Awang Haji Suyoi disclosed this at the launch of the Seameo Voctech International Computer Driving Licence, ICDL authorised test centre.
Seameo Voctech authorised test centre, the centre will bring the international driving standard to as many individuals as possible initially to drivers in Brunei.
It will provide a mechanism whereby individuals can upgrade their skill as necessary by means of new versions of the ICDL and new products.
The ICDL programme will be the benchmark for Bruneians to measure their IT skills and with this certification, their skills will be recognised not only locally but also internationally.– Courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
Well it’s about damn time we have a proper e-Government… I wonder if I can land a position in this new-fangled thing?
Nothing much to report or to rant about… Life’s at ‘Cruise’ mode… And oh… I have to fork out B$115 for my ITB registration… And there’s gonna be a mini marathon for the new intakes during the orientation… Well… Right then… I’ll be arriving later that night…