Mahathir should urge Bush to revoke the US  repudiation of  the International Criminal Court as it  makes a  total mockery of the US global war against terrorism

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Tuesday)The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad should urge United States President Bush to revoke the US repudiation of the International Criminal Court as it makes a total mockery of the US global war  against terrorism. 

Last week,  the Bush administration formally revoked the US  support of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. 

This was the worst case of American isolationism under Bush as it was  not only out of step with America’s allies but threw the United States into opposition against the most important new institution for enforcing human rights in 50 years. 

The  message of the US  “unsigning” the Rome Treaty  is that the United States is prepared to hold every other state to account for the acts of terrorism of their nationals but it would not subject its citizens  to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court designed to prosecute individuals for genocide, crime against humanity and other war crimes  – that international criminal justice is a one-way street as far as the US is concerned, applying to citizens of other countries but not to Amercans. 

Unless the United States reverses its stand on the International Criminal Court, its war on terrorism will ring hollow and will only foster the anti-Americanism that led to September 11 in the first place. 

It is most ironic that in repudiating the ICC, Bush has lined up alongside with countries such as Iraq and North Korea – two of the countries which he had condemned as part of the  “axis of evil”! 

The “unsigning” of the Rome Treaty is also the  height of international irresponsibility as it is unheard of for a nation that signed a treaty to withdraw that signature – as it will open the Pandora’s box with other governments taking  the American nullification of its signature on the Rome Treaty as an opportunity to unsign other treaties, which will be a major setback to international co-operation and relations.

Despite the US revocation, the International Criminal Court will begin operations next year in The Hague as more than the required number of 60 nations had signed the treaty  and the court's jurisdiction will cover crimes committed after July 1 of this year.

Most democratic nations and all European Union countries have ratified the treaty — except Greece, which is in the process of doing so — along with Canada, New Zealand and a number of African, Eastern European and Central Asian countries.

However, for Mahathir to be able to convincingly and effectively convey to Bush the international outrage  at the irresponsible isolationalism and exceptionalism of the US in repudiating the Rome Treaty and to ask Bush review the US revocation , Malaysia  must be able to set a good example with Mahathir informing Bush that Malaysia, which had not signed and ratified  the ICC Statute, would be doing so as a responsible member of the international community!


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman