Kofi Annan Opposes Allowing US Troops Exemption from International Court
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is urging the Security Council to oppose the United States' attempt to obtain another exemption for US troops from prosecution under the International Criminal Court (ICC). According to the Washington Post, Annan said, "It would be unwise to press for an exemption, and it would be even more unwise on the part of the Security Council to grant it."
According to Reuters, China has been criticizing the resolution for sending wrong signals to the world, stating that the resolution could be used as political cover for abuses committed by troops serving in UN-approved peacekeeping missions.
The ICC has widespread support in the US from groups such as the Feminist Majority because it identifies gender crimes and the crime of apartheid as crimes against humanity. Article 7 of the Rome Statute, which created the court, presents clear language that defines rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity as gender crimes. Ninety four countries have fully ratified the treaty establishing the ICC. The United States is currently the only industrialized country that has not signed the treaty.
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Media Resources: Feminist Daily News 2/3/04; Reuters 6/18/04; Washington Post 6/18/04