- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 19, 2001

Adrian Karatnycky, president of Freedom House, is correct in asserting that the recent votes to remove the United States from the U.N. Commission on Human Rights and the U.N. International Narcotics Control Board do less damage to U.S. interests than they do to the effectiveness of the United Nations (“Tyrants rule,” Op-Ed, May 17). His assertion, however, that the International Criminal Court will be manipulated in the same way illustrates his lack of knowledge about the court.

Unlike the U.N. Economic and Social Council, the U.N. body that elected France, Austria and Sweden instead of the United States to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, the International Criminal Court´s governing Assembly of States Parties will be open only to those countries that ratify the court´s statute and choose to accept the court´s jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The world´s human rights violators that wrongfully have a place on the Human Rights Commission, such as China and Sudan, are not the countries that are ratifying the International Criminal Court statute, because that would open them to the court´s jurisdiction for violations committed on their territory.

Rather, the statute is being ratified by the community of nations that firmly supports the impartial enforcement of laws against the world´s most heinous crimes. This community of nations includes Italy, Norway, Germany, France, South Africa and Argentina. Eighteen of nineteen NATO allies (excluding Turkey) have signed the treaty, and nine have already ratified, with more to come in the next few months.

On the same day the U.S. House of Representatives passed the ill-advised and misnamed “American Servicemembers Protection Act” to bar any U.S. cooperation with future international efforts to bring tyrants before the International Criminal Court, the British Parliament passed the U.K. bill of ratification, which will be deposited shortly with the United Nations.

The International Criminal Court will not be a club of tyrants but rather a much-needed mechanism for bringing them to justice for their atrocious crimes.


HEATHER B. HAMILTON

Washington


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