Sunday, April 02, 2006

"No Justice, No Peace": Importance of the International Criminal Court

(Map of Darfur Region from Wikipedia.org)

Elizabeth Rubin has an excellent piece in the New York Times today about the noble efforts to build a case at the International Criminal Court in the Hague against those committing the atrocities in the Darfur region of Sudan. The opening paragraph is below:

A thick afternoon fog enveloped the trees and streetlights of The Hague, a placid city built along canals, a city of art galleries, clothing boutiques, Vermeers and Eschers. It is not for these old European boulevards, however, that The Hague figures in the minds of men and women in places as far apart as Uganda, Sarajevo and now Sudan. Rather, it symbolizes the possibility of some justice in the world, when the state has collapsed or turned into an instrument of terror. The Hague has long been home to the International Court of Justice (or World Court), a legal arm of the United Nations, which adjudicates disputes between states. During the Balkan wars, a tribunal was set up here for Yugoslavia; it has since brought cases against 161 individuals. It was trying Slobodan Milosevic — the first genocide case brought against a former head of state — until his unexpected death last month. And now the International Criminal Court has begun its investigations into the mass murders and crimes against humanity that have been committed, and are still taking place, in the Darfur region of Sudan. (Read complete article here.)

An important area of Baha'i Activism in the United States is promoting support for the ICC. I've provided some information about this effort from the U.S. Baha'i Community's website, www.us.bahai.org:

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States, the religious community’s national governing body, is a founding member of the Washington Working Group for the International Criminal Court (WICC) and the American Coalition for the International Criminal Court (AMICC). Both WICC and AMICC are committed to achieving full U.S. support for the world’s first permanent court. The International Criminal Court was established in 2002 in The Hague, Netherlands, to try individuals accused of committing genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.