How USA renounced membership to Rome Statute-If US can do it,why not Kenya


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In a simple three-paragraph letter sent to former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, the United States formally renounced its membership to the 1998 Rome Statute.

This is what set up the International Criminal Court treaty in 2000, just weeks after former President George Bush was inaugurated.

The Bush administration’s biggest fear was that its withdrawal would further damage the US reputation and isolate the country further.

“This unprecedented action suggests to the world that the signature of a US president lacks enduring meaning,” said Mark Epstein, at that time the director of the World Federalist Association.

Treaty system

“At the very time, the US seeks signatures and ratifications of anti-terrorist treaties, an ‘unsigning’ by the (George) Bush administration will undermine the power of the international treaty system.”

Critics of the action were brutal. William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International’s US section declared: “Driven by unfounded fears of phantom prosecutions, the United States has hit a new nadir of isolationism and exceptionalism.”

The ICC treaty — which was signed by former President Bill Clinton — has been signed by almost 140 countries and ratified by 66 others and took effect on July 1, 2002.

Since then, the court has been ratified by 121 countries, including 34 in Africa. Under the treaty, the ICC can take only cases that national courts are clearly unable or unwilling to prosecute locally.

The architect of the US move was John Bolton, then working in the State Department and later appointed by President Bush as the US ambassador to the UN. Bolton marshalled right wing and conservative groups to compel the US to unsign from the ICC and became the most outspoken foe of the Rome

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