Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Thursday, July 03, 2003  

Talking of the Caricom Conference, one of the hot topics of discussion has been has been the refusal of the US to sign on to the International Criminal Court.

This is in itself can hardly be surprising, given America's track record on signing up to international agreements - the landmines treaty, the Kyoto agreement on the environment, the nuclear proliferation ban. It is unfortunate, of course, because the issue with the ICC is similar to Eric Williams' "one from ten leaves nought" equation for the pipe dream that was Caribbean federation. Everyone needs to be onboard for it to work.

What is annoying to many is that America has decided to stop military donations to the nations that oppose her opting out of the ICC. The sums involved are scant, it's true (at least in our case), but it's the principle involved that matters. America has given no legitimate reason why it should opt out of the ICC, and to rap the nations who register their displeasure at this on the knuckles is just plain mean-spirited.

Also worrying is that America's move, in keeping with the phenomenon of the pre-emptive strike, seems calculated to insulate American nationals against prosecution from acts they may commit in countries that America may deem in conflict with world safety/America's interests, countries America may soon find itself liberating/invading.

What's most unfortunate however is that Caribbean leaders are, as ever, divided on a crucial issue where the path that should be taken, or so it seems to me, is clear. If we thought more of the benefits of greater Caribbean integration, some of the smaller and poorer nations might be able to worry less about what the United States is going to think about everything they do.

posted by Jonathan | 7:09 PM 0 comments


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