“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” –Yehuda Berg
US President Donald Trump delivered his second address before the United Nations General Assembly last Tuesday, where he spoke against multilateralism, along with launching attacks on various entities, from Iran to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Venezuela to the International Criminal Court (ICC). He was then followed by other world leaders, including those from Turkey, Iran, and France, who each sought to rebut the American president.
The day prior, ICC president, Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, said in an interview with UN News, “Humanity cries for justice,” adding, “No country can do it alone.”
“There are more conflicts in the world today than in 1998, when the Rome Statute established the court to address genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity,” the Nigerian judge pointed out.
He also deflected remarks reportedly made by US National Security Advisor John Bolton, deeming the ICC an “illegitimate court,” and urged countries to focus on why it was adopted.
Bolton’s comments also indicated the US is prepared to ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the country should the proposed investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Americans in Afghanistan were to proceed.
In response, Eboe-Osuji called it “unfortunate.”
“The world needs the United States in the ICC,” he insisted. “They have a long history and experience of supporting these sort of efforts to address violations.”
The judge added, the Nuremburg trials, the series of military tribunals held after World War II, were led by the American judicial system.
With regard to other matters, including the former Yugoslavia, Rwandan genocide, and war crimes committed during the Sierra Leone civil war, the ICC president said, “The United States played a strong role in insisting that justice must be done post-conflict – and that was done.”
“We do want them to come to the ICC and do the same thing, they know how to do it, they know how to assist,” he explained. “That is what is more important; we have to keep our eyes on the ball.”
“We cannot be distracted by, whatever reasons, some people feel irritated by what the court does,” Eboe-Osuji added.
“Keep in mind, there are strong systems in place around the Rome Statue that ensures that there is no unfair prosecution against anyone,” the judge continued. “There is no need for anyone to get carried away at the beginning of the process, even before any preliminary examination or investigation has been begun.”
“The world needs a collective effort to solve collective problems,” he surmised./WDJ