U.S. decision on U.N. Darfur resolution difficult, Burns says
Sudan-USA, Politics, 4/2/2005
The United States' decision to abstain on a U.N. Security Council resolution that would send Darfur war crimes cases to the International Criminal Court was a difficult one, Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said April 1.
Speaking to reporters at the State Department, Burns noted that the United States sponsored two of the three resolutions to address the situation in Sudan that the Security Council passed during the preceding week.Ê Of the resolution involving the International Criminal Court (ICC), he said: "This was a difficult decision for us, for obvious reasons, because of our long-standing position on the International Criminal Court.Ê And our position on that Court has not changed as a result of this action.
"But the secretary felt very strongly, as did many others in the administration, that we had to join the international community in a serious effort to see that justice was done in Sudan and that it was very important that the international community speak with one voice on this issue of justice to see if it's possible that together we can make sure that those guilty of war crimes and atrocities are brought to justice, they're held accountable and that they are tried before a competent international court and, if they are convicted by that court, serve long sentences.
Burns added that the United States played "the critical role with our abstention on this resolution in not exercising the veto that we could have exercised as a permanent member to allow this to go forward."
The result, he said, "will hopefully motivate better behavior and an improvement in the human rights situation in Sudan itself."
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