Bush Threatens NATO in Latest Attempt To Undermine ICC
In President Bush’s latest attempt to strong arm US allies into supporting demands for American immunity from the International Criminal Court (ICC), the administration is threatening to use the US role in NATO against the European Union should they refuse to exempt American personnel from the newly created court, the New York Times reported today. The foreign ministers of the European Union are scheduled to meet this week to discuss whether the US should be granted immunity in the ICC – an international venue launched in July to protect victims of genocide and other war crimes.
In letters dated August 16, Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote to individual European nations urging them to hold off on a united European Union decision and instead sign individual agreements with the US promising that they will not press charges against American peacekeepers and other personnel through the ICC. Meanwhile, Pierre-Richard Prosper, the American ambassador for war crimes issues, said in an interview with the Danish news media last week that if the European Union decides against US ICC immunity, the status quo between the United States and NATO "will obviously not exist, and we will have to see how we can work through all this," according to the Times. The State Department, however, has denied any connection between NATO and ICC immunity.
The Bush administration has strongly opposed the ICC, claiming that it could subject US personnel to politically motivated prosecutions abroad. The ICC has widespread support in the US from groups such as the Feminist Majority because it identifies gender crimes and the crime of apartheid as crimes against humanity. Article 7 of the Rome Statute, which created the court, presents clear language that defines gender crimes as rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity.
So far, 74 countries have ratified the Rome Treaty – on December 31, 2000 former President Bill Clinton added the US signature, which President Bush then renounced in May. However, in light of severe criticism from some of its closest European allies, the Bush administration agreed to drop its demand for US immunity and instead opt for a compromise with the United Nations Security Council for a one-year exemption from prosecution. In the meantime, the administration has set out on a campaign to convince individual nations to grant US immunity before the one-year exemption runs out. So far, Israel and Romania have signed such agreements while Switzerland has refused to do so.
Media Resources: New York Times 8/26/02; Feminist Daily News 8/12/02
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .