Remarks at a Meeting of the Sixth Committee on Agenda Item 77: Report of the International Criminal Court

Margarita Palau-Hernandez
Public Delegate
United States
New York City
October 30, 2018


Thank you, Madam President.

The United States recently announced a change in its policy regarding the International Criminal Court. The reasons for this change in policy have been made public, including in the speech delivered on September 10 by National Security Advisor John Bolton, and are widely available, so we will not repeat them at length here.

The United States reiterates its 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.