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UN: U.S. Backs Down In ICC Dispute

United Nations, 11 July 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The United States has backed down from its demand for permanent immunity for U.S. peacekeepers and civilian personnel from the new International Criminal Court (ICC). Late yesterday, U.S. officials presented a new proposal that would prevent the investigation or prosecution of U.S. peacekeepers and personnel for a year. The proposal was presented at UN headquarters in New York after an open Security Council meeting.

The U.S. proposal says the U.S. would renew the request for immunity for its peacekeepers for "further 12-month periods for as long as may be necessary."

The Bush administration threatened to veto all UN peacekeeping missions, starting with UN police and civilian personnel in Bosnia, if its soldiers and civilian personnel were not granted blanket immunity from prosecution by the ICC. The Security Council is due to vote on 15 July on whether to continue the Bosnia mission.

The U.S. has demanded immunity on grounds that other countries could use the new court for frivolous and politically motivated prosecutions of American soldiers and civilian personnel.