Security Council asks ICC not to bring cases against peacekeepers from States

Following weeks of wrangling over sensitive issues concerning the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the United Nations Security Council today unanimously adopted a resolution which effectively prevents any potential ICC prosecution of UN peacekeepers for one year. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was “deeply gratified that members of the Security Council have resolved the difficult issue that they faced and have been unanimous in their decision,” his spokesman said in a statement.During the Council’s deliberations on the matter, Mr. Annan’s main concerns were “for the integrity of the United Nations Charter and the Statute of the International Criminal Court, and for the integrity of treaty law,” according to the statement, which added that he “also was concerned about the unity of the Security Council and the preservation of UN peacekeeping operations.”In taking its decision today, the Council invoked Article 16 of the ICC’s Rome Statute, under which “no investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with… for a period of 12 months after the Security Council, in a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, has requested the Court to that effect.” Such requests “may be renewed by the Council under the same conditions.”Today’s resolution, adopted under Chapter VII which allows for enforcement, requested that the ICC, for a 12-month period beginning on 1 July, “not proceed with investigation or prosecution of any case” involving “current or former officials or personnel from a contributing State not a Party to the Rome Statute over acts or omissions relating to a United Nations established or authorized operation.”The resolution also expressed the Council’s intention to renew this request each 1 July for a 12-month period.Following the text’s adoption, the Council moved to extend the mandate of two UN operations: the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina – along with the UN-authorized multinational stabilization force (SFOR) operating in the country – as well as the UN Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP).

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