US dilutes anti-genocide declaration

US opposition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) is likely to weaken a final international declaration against genocide.

    Swedish PM Goeran Persson welcomes UN chief Kofi Annan

    Delegates at the "Preventing Genocide" conference in Stockholm this Wednesday were expected to issue the most powerful document ever condemning mass killing.

    But US opposition to recognising ICC authority - widely considered the most promising new tools in the fight against genocide - will make any declaration less effective, according to delegates.

    The final draft, to be immediately adopted through consensus by 50 countries, deals with all aspects of "ethnic cleansing" and goes further than the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

    International justice

    The conference secretary general, Krister Kumlin, told journalists that: "We're talking about a consensus document here, and that means everyone has to agree.

    "Both the US and Europe agree that it's important to bring perpetrators to justice. The disagreement is about what tool to use.

    "The conflict is obviously there. It's very sad, not least because it was the United States that once took the initiative to create the ICC," he added.

    But Washington fears the court could become a forum for politically motivated prosecutions of US citizens, especially soldiers deployed abroad.

    The White House has waged an international campaign to sign immunity from prosecution pacts with various countries after the World Court came into being in 2002.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.