Justice Games

31-01-2024 06:46 PM
Ambassador Gleb Desyatnikov

The events that currently take place in Gaza have vividly shown that we live in a new reality. It turns out that such fundamental values and principles as truth, equity and justice in our modern world unfortunately have different meanings. And what is more disturbing, the certain members of the international community today understand them differently, in their own special way. That is exactly what is happening right now over the issue of the International criminal court (ICC).

It`s worth noting that IIC was established back in 2002 as a permanent international body charged to investigate the worst crimes committed worldwide. The series of successful, as it seemed then, UN-led tribunals over the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda paved the way for establishing a universal international criminal court that would be based on an international multilateral agreement and eventually acquire the global recognition.

Moreover, ICC was initially viewed as one of those elements crucial to maintenance of peace and security in the world. That`s why it is the Security Council which was granted the unique prerogatives to refer “cases” to ICC.

At the end of the day, work of ICC throughout the years showed that those hopes of “international justice enthusiasts” were betrayed. Either due to its ineffectiveness as a justice organization or due to power abuse and political games of its high rank officials.

With its annual budget of 170$ million dollars and staff of 900 employees only 40 persons have been declared wanted over the past 20 years with just 13 final verdicts pronounced (including 4 acquittal).

These modest “achievements” of ICC are added to substantial political tensions with a number of states. Concentrated solely on the African continent the ICC provoked a wave of legitimate accusations of the “unfair geographical imbalance” which was perceived in Africa itself as a manifestation of the neocolonial way of thinking in the West.

Besides, some rulings and decisions of the ICC have become major obstacles in the way of settlement of a number of crisis, international or national reconciliation process. With rejection were also met its attempts to prosecute acting heads of states in candid violation of the international law on immunities.

ICC and its Office of the Prosecutor failed to make any conclusions out of this trend and continued to act in contradiction of the fundamental norms of the international law and initiatives for conflict resolution. No wonder that ICC despite the astounding number of participating members (123) in fact has not become the truly universal body as its supporters are constantly declaring. Apart from Russia, a number of other important players like China, Turkey, India, United States, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam didn`t join the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court.

And we do not see the former enthusiasm among other states. Thus, over the period since 2015 only 4 new countries were admitted as members, meanwhile 2 states withdrew and 1 signature cancelled.

But what is more important – some countries of the Western world formulate their attitude toward ICC based on their pragmatic interests and foreign policy demands. It cannot but alarm us.

The writer is Gleb Desyatnikov, Ambassador of Russia to Jordan

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