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Latin American states use Security Council seats to show strong support for the International Criminal Court and international justice
an article by Coalition for the International Criminal Court (abridged)

With its mandate to oversee peace and security in the world, the UN Security Council is a prime forum for states to promote justice and accountability. In recent years, Latin American states in particular have used the Security Council platform to speak strongly in support of international justice and, more specifically, the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Argentina’s ambassador to the UN speaks during a Security Council meeting. © STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

click on photo to enlarge

A look at the different votes and initiatives put forward by Latin American Council members over the past few years bears witness to the region’s commitment to justice.

After a Security Council resolution referring the Syrian conflict to the ICC was vetoed by Russia and China last month, Chile— the newest Latin American state to join the Security Council— joined France, Rwanda, Jordan, Luxembourg and Australia calling for the adoption of a code of conduct restraining the use of the veto on matters involving war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. . .

n an additional statement of support for the ICC, Chile noted that the Court has proven to be the best instrument to investigate grave crimes under international law and called for the integrity of the Rome Statute to be respected.

Argentina also spoke strongly in defense of the Rome Statute’s integrity after the Syria resolution was vetoed. The Argentinean representative stressed that while she had voted for the referral, she nonetheless had strong concerns regarding provisions that could undermine the Rome Statute and the ICC. . .

Argentina also expressed its disappointment in the Security Council’s inability to agree upon a viable plan for justice in Syria, signaling that the Council cannot continue to let politics influence its decisions to hold perpetrators of grave crimes accountable or act as though it must choose between peace or justice. . .

The South American country has also been a strong voice for enhanced cooperation with the ICC. While holding the Council’s presidency in August 2013, Argentina organized a high-level open debate on cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security, which was presided over by President Fernandez de Kirchner.

Guatemala, a relative newcomer to the ICC, has also used membership on the Security Council to promote international justice.

In October 2012, while Guatemala held the Council’s rotating presidency, it organized open debates on the rule of law and on peace and justice, with a special focus on the role of the ICC. Guatemala also produced a presidential statement on the rule of law and a concept paper on peace and justice, which raised the role of the ICC in addressing impunity and deterring mass atrocities. . .

The relationship between the ICC and the Security Council is an important one, and enhanced cooperation between both organs is crucial for international justice efforts. With 11 ICC member states currently on the Council, now is an opportune time to push ICC and justice-related issue forward.

So far, Latin American states have responded to this opportunity with a loud and—at times—uniform voice in support of the Court.

[Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.]


Question(s) related to this article:

Could use of the ICC help prevent future wars?,

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To change the United States culture of war to a culture of peace we need to hear from our Veterans who understand the true costs of war. We need to hear from them daily. I watch Democracy Now and often wonder where are the voices of veterans who have chosen to promote peace as the ultimate defence of our country.

We, having dutifully  served our nation, do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to  serve the cause of world peace. To this end we will work, with others

(a) Toward  increasing public awareness of the costs of war.
(b) To restrain our government from intervening, overtly and covertly,  in the internal affairs of other nations 
© To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate  nuclear weapons
(d) To seek justice for veterans and victims of war
(e) To abolish war as an instrument of national policy.

To achieve these goals, members of Veterans For Peace pledge to use non-violent means and to maintain an organization that is both democratic and open with the understanding that all members are trusted to act in the best interests of the group for the larger purpose of world peace.

We urge all people who share this vision to join us.

I would recommend that veterans and non veterans join the Veterans For Peace and foster the message of peace.

National media is the only way to get the word out. We all know that corporate news will not give us the time of day much less equal time on issues of war, national security, and world peace. In order to foster this message, we sould start by producing community access television show(s) that are moderated by members of Veterans For Peace. . ...more.

This report was posted on July 13, 2014.