2005 General Synod Resolution in Support of the International Criminal Court

UCC Support for the International Criminal Court

UCC SUPPORT FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

(Twenty-fifth General Synod of the United Church of Christ -- 2005)

WHEREAS the United Church of Christ is committed to educating and advocating on behalf of human rights, global justice and peace.

WHEREAS the International Criminal Court sustains the advancement of human rights and, within the norms of international law, supplants impunity with accountability concerning crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity,

WHEREAS for reasons of moral leadership and national interest, the United States should once again fully participate in the shaping of the policies of the International Criminal Court,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Twenty-fifth General Synod of the United Church of Christ encourages members of the United Church of Christ, to become informed advocates for the International Criminal Court,

WE FURTHER RESOLVE that the Twenty-fifth General Synod of the United Church of Christ urges the President of the United States to restore the signature of the United States to the Treaty establishing the International Criminal Court and to cease efforts to undermine the Court's effectiveness and international support, and to prepare for eventual ratification by the Senate of the United States,

AND, TO THAT END, the Twenty-fifth General Synod of the United Church of Christ urges the Covenanted Ministries of the United Church of Christ, in particular the Public Life and Social Policy Ministry in Washington, DC, to educate and advocate for responsible United States participation in the International Criminal Court.

Funding for the implementation of this resolution will be made in accordance with the overall mandates of the affected agencies and the funds available.

UCC Public Policy Briefing Book, 2005-2006

The International Criminal Court, now permanently located in The Hague, was created in July 2002 when the required minimum of 60 nations ratified the treaty establishing the Court, called the Rome Statute. The Rome Statute mandated the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and bring to justice individuals who commit the worst crimes known to humanity: crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The United States was an influential participant throughout the negotiations that in 1998 led to the initial treaty approved by 120 nations. Today, nearly 100 nations, including most democratic nations worldwide, have ratified the Rome Statute. The International Criminal Court sustains the advancement of human rights and, within the norms of international law, supplants impunity with accountability. It provides unprecedented protection and roles for victims, and fully respects the claims of court jurisdictions within nations as well as the rights outlined in the U.S. Constitution. The Court's concept of punitive justice prohibits the death penalty and instead  incorporates the increasingly fruitful concept of restorative justice, wherein the restoration of relationships and accountability to victims and the community are essential. Despite the United States' early support for the Court, in May 2002 the United States severed all diplomatic contact with the emerging Court and withdrew signature from the Treaty. This shocking reversal of U.S. position continues to undermine the Court's credibility and international support. The UCC has a vigorous history of commitment to human rights, justice and peace, providing us with a clear mandate to become informed advocates for the ICC and, specifically, to urge the Administration to resume full and responsible U.S. participation. For reasons of moral leadership as well as national interest, UCC advocates should call upon the United States to once again fully participate in the Rome Statute and support the International Criminal Court.


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