Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The United States has taken a first step toward reengagement with the International Criminal Court (ICC). U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Stephen Rapp annnounced yesterday in Nairobi, Kenya that the U.S. would participate as an observer in the Eighth Session of the ICC's Assembly of States from November 18-26 in The Hague. This will be the first time the U.S. has participated in ICC meetings since 2001. According to a press release by the United Nations Association (UNA):
"State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly confirmed the decision and specified that "there will be an interagency delegation comprising of State Department and Defense Department officials, which will allow us to advance, use and engage all the delegations in various matters of interest to the U.S." This week's session is an important preparatory meeting for next year's Review Conference which will deal with important issues of interest to the US, including possible amendments dealing with war crimes and activating the Court's jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. If the US had not decided to attend, it would have missed out on an important opportunity to share its views and shape the agenda for the Review Conference."