Explanation of Position of the United States Report of the International Criminal Court Agenda Item 73

John Giordano
Public Delegate
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
November 4, 2019

AS DELIVERED

Thank you, Madam President.

The United States has historically been, and will continue to be, a strong supporter of meaningful accountability and justice for victims of atrocities through appropriate mechanisms. Perpetrators of atrocity crimes must face justice, but we must also be careful to recognize the right tool for each situation.

I must reiterate our continuing and longstanding principled objection to any assertion of ICC jurisdiction over nationals of States that are not parties to the Rome Statute, including the United States and Israel, absent a UN Security Council referral or the consent of such a State. We also wish to reiterate our serious and fundamental concerns with the ICC Prosecutor’s proposed investigation of U.S. personnel in the context of the conflict in Afghanistan.

The United States remains a leader in the fight to end impunity and supports justice and accountability for international crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The United States respects the decision of those nations that have chosen to join the ICC, and, in turn, we expect that our decision not to join and not to place our citizens under the court’s jurisdiction will also be respected.

Accordingly, the United States dissociates itself from consensus on this resolution.

Thank you, Madam President.

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