UNITED NATIONS: ANOTHER STEP TOWARD VICTORY FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL. APPROVED BY CONSENSUS THE PREPARATORY COMMITTEE FOR THE CONFERENCE OF PLENIPOTENTIARIES. USA FAVORABLE AT THE LAST MOMENT.
New York - Brussels, November 30, 1995. With a surprising timing, the Sixth Committee of the United Nations has finally passed by consensus a resolution calling for a preparatory committee setting the definitive dates for two sessions. The first will meet from March 25 to April 12 and the second from August 12 to August 30 in 1996. The efforts by some nations to remove the preparatory committee language were apparently overcome by the clear majority of delegations favoring the decision for a definite program of meetings next year.
A determining factor in bringing a consensus was not only the prospect advanced by Italy, Canada and the European Union to come to a vote, which would have meant a politically unfavorable image to countries such as China, Japan, Cuba and India, to name the most evidently opposed, but also the change of the position of the United States at the last moment, obviously in consideration of the consequent isolation resulting from mantaining its unpopular stand.
The last text saw very few changes; paragraphs 1 and 2 were slightly altered to accomodate a request by China, for taking into account the different views expressed during the past meetings and that of Thailand and Mexico for preparing a "widely acceptable" consolidated text. These change, although would open the possibility to more discussions on long standing divergent views, bring no substantive modifications. The final draft resolution is to be adopted by the General Assembly today or tomorrow.
Following the news, the Transnational Radical Party General Secretary, Olivier Dupuis, expressed his satisfaction by declaring that "This is a determining milestone in bringing the International Criminal Court to reality. For this accomplishment we owe much gratitude to various delegations of EU member states and to the Spanish Minister for foreign Affairs, Mr Javier Solana who, in his capacity of Chairman of the European Union has so skillfully worked in support of the Tribunal".
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