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EU/UNITED STATES/INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: EU pleased with agreement on immunity of UN personnel

After the agreement reached on Friday night at the United Nations Security Council on the status of UN peacekeepers at the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Danish Presidency stated on behalf of the EU: "The EU welcomes the compromise reached in the UN Security Council last night. A solution has been reached that does not harm the integrity of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and which ensures the uninterrupted continuation of UN peacekeeping operations. The EU is particularly pleased that the mandate of the UN Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina (UNMIBH) is extended till the end of the year. A continued international presence is crucial to peace, stability and the further development of rule of law in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The extension of the mandate will ensure an orderly transition between the UN Mission and the EU Police Mission, which will take over on 1 January 2003. The EU reiterates its strong support for the International Criminal Court. The recent entry into force of the Statute of the International Criminal Court is a major leap forward in the progressive development of international law. The EU supports the early establishment and effective functioning of the Court, and will continue to work for universal support for the Court". Italian Radical Emma Bonino considers the agreement is a "point of balance" and does not in time rule out full participation by all countries including the United States. On the other hand, German Social Democrat Jo Leinen believes it to be an attack on the credibility of the United Nations and on the work of the ICC, and calls on the EU to set the future United Nations Conventions in place, "if necessary even without the support of the United States". The agreement reached last weekend stipulates that the personnel of the States that are not signatory to the ICC statute, including the United States, will benefit from immunity before the new Court for twelve months. This immunity will be renewable each 1 July for a twelve-month period after a vote by the UN Security Council. Immunity is therefore not permanent as the United States initially wanted. The agreement brings the diplomatic dispute to an end (see EUROPE of 3, 4 and 5 July, p.3).





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