Rule of Law and Transitional Justice Critical in Preventing Conflict

U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo today reiterated the Secretary General’s October 2011 report that states that the rule of law and transitional justice are critical in preventing conflict and atrocities and rebuilding societies torn apart by systemic violence.

In her remarks at the Security Council Debate on International Criminal Justice and Rule of Law, Dicarlo adressed three aspects of justice and the rule of law as they relate to conflict and post-conflict societies: first, the importance of support for justice at the international level; second, the need to build the capacity of domestic justice systems; and third, recent efforts by the United States to institutionalize and deepen our own commitments in this area.

“First, strengthening the rule of law requires more than technical expertise. It also requires political will and coordinated action by a wide range of international actors.” -Ms. DiCarlo

She noted that one key way in which the international community has signaled that impunity for the most serious crimes will not be tolerated is the creation of international and mixed tribunals, as well as commissions of inquiry and fact-finding mechanisms. She added that active support by all states for international and mixed tribunals is crucial.

“We have supported these international accountability mechanisms across the globe, from the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia to commissions of inquiry in places like Kyrgyzstan, Cote d’Ivoire, and Libya. In this regard, the International Criminal Court can play an important role in contributing to the fight against impunity.” -Ms. DiCarlo

She noted that the United States supported the UN Security Council’s ICC referral regarding Libya, and it is helping to ensure that those charged by the Court there face justice consistent with international standards.

“As we approach justice and rule of law in conflict and post-conflict situations, we must place special emphasis on the protection of women and children, as well as of other vulnerable groups. This includes persons targeted for violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity.” -Ms. DiCarlo

She stressed that there’s a need to ensure accountability for those responsible for the most serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, and deter further violations. She pointed out that hindering such persons from traveling, accessing funds, and arming themselves through the application of targeted sanctions can play an important role in deterring future violations.

She also emphasized that the world must also catalyze a broader process of long-term prevention. She cited that the lessons of international justice must be embraced at the national level, and developed locally to ensure that states can protect their citizens’ rights.

“The many rule of law capacity building initiatives to advance transitional justice deserve the continued support of the international community. “ -Ms. DiCarlo

She stressed that the United States, together with its partners, enthusiastically supports initiatives in states such as the DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, and elsewhere to bolster domestic capacities to investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes and to build justice systems that can deliver fair, impartial justice.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.