Time has come for America to reconsider its position on the ICC

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When Barack Obama took office as the new President of the United States, he promised change after the Bush-era. A key symbol of this change was the shift in the U.S. foreign policy. The war in Iraq and the situation of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay had done considerable damage to the reputation of the United States. In both cases, however, the new President hardly lived up to the high expectations of change from his predecessor. Obama did manage to put an end to the war in Iraq, after the "surge" initiated by his predecessor, but Guantanamo remained open. 

The mere call for change, however, was enough to win the new President the Nobel Peace Prize -- a prize that was awarded, as he himself admitted, for intended goals rather than for proven achievements. As a matter of fact, international politics proved intractable, not only with regard to Guantanamo and Iraq. 

Change did not occur with regard to the International Criminal Court either. When U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took office she said she found it most regrettable that the United States of America had not yet acceded to the Rome Statute, the treaty on which the International Criminal Court is based. After this hopeful signal nothing happened – in no small part due to the reluctance of the U.S. Congress towards the International Criminal Court.

The Libya and Ivory Coast crises have boosted the UN's credibility. Now it is of paramount importance to enhance the credibility of the final piece of the international legal system, the International Criminal Court in The Hague. My political party, the Christian Democratic Appeal, wholeheartedly agrees with the American Congressmen's call for compliance with international treaties, but let me reciprocate by urging these Congressmen to dedicate themselves to a swift ratification of the Rome Statute by the United States.

Çörüz is member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands for the Christian Democratic Appeal and Rapporteur on Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OCSE).