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Washington File

13 June 2003

U.N. Security Council Releases Resolution on Immunity for Peacekeepers

(Security Council renews U.N. peacekeepers' immunity from ICC
jurisdiction) (460)
The U.N. Security Council June 12 adopted a resolution renewing
immunity for U.N. peacekeepers from prosecution for war crimes by the
new International Criminal Court (ICC).
Adopting resolution 1487 by a vote of 12-0 with France, Germany, and
Syria abstaining, the council extended a resolution first passed last
year at the insistence of the United States, which fears that U.S.
nationals could be subjected to politically motivated prosecutions by
the court. It exempts from prosecution U.N. peacekeepers from
countries that are not parties to the Rome Statute, which created the
In the resolution, the council also expressed its intention to renew
the request each year "for as long as may be necessary."
Following is the text of the resolution:
(begin text)
United Nations
New York
June 12, 2003
Resolution 1487
The Security Council,
Taking note of the entry into force on 1 July 2002, of the Statute of
the International Criminal Court (ICC), done at Rome 17 July 1998 (the
Rome Statute),
Emphasizing the importance to international peace and security of
United Nations operations,
Noting that not all States are parties to the Rome Statute,
Noting that States Parties to the Rome Statute have chosen to accept
its jurisdiction in accordance with the Statute and in particular the
principle of complementarity,
Noting that States not Party to the Rome Statute will continue to
fulfill their responsibilities in their national jurisdictions in
relation to international crimes,
Determining that operations established or authorize by the United
Nations Security Council are deployed to maintain or restore
international peace and security,
Determining further that it is in the interests of international peace
and security to facilitate Member States' ability to contribute to
operations established or authorized by the United Nations Security
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
1. Requests, consistent with the provisions of Article 16 of the Rome
Statute, that the ICC, if a case arises involving current or former
officials or personnel from a contributing State not a Party to the
Rome Statute over acts or omissions relating to a United Nations
established or authorized operation, shall for a twelve-month period
starting 1 July 2003 not commence or proceed with investigation or
prosecution of any such case, unless the Security Council decides
2. Expresses the intention to renew the request in paragraph 1 under
the same conditions each 1 July for further 12-month periods for as
long as may be necessary;
3. Decides that Member States shall take no action inconsistent with
paragraph 1 and with their international obligations;
4. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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