the UN, Richard Goldstone Presses Enforcement on Joseph Kony, Reflecting
Back on Karadzic
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN
October 12 -- "Justice is not a faucet you can turn on and off," Justice
Richard Goldstone told a sparsely-attended press conference at the UN on
Thursday. In light of Justice Goldstone having presided over the UN's
tribunals for both Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, Inner City Press asked
him to weigh in on
calls to grant Joseph Kony and the
leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army amnesty from
the International Criminal Court's indictments for war crimes in Uganda.
Justice Goldstone directs a response to Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni.
"Mr. Museveni switches it on and has the investigation launched. Then when
it doesn't suit him, in his view, he wants to turn it off. It can't work
that way," Justice Goldstone said. "If you want to have a system of
international criminal justice, there is no room for giving amnesties to the
worse perpetrators." Video on
Minute 23:06 to 29:46.
Justice Goldstone's five-minute answer to Inner City Press' question
included his story that if Radovan Karadzic had not been indicted in 1995,
there would not have been peace in the Balkans. "If Karadzic had not been
indicted, he... would have gone to Dayton. Then the Bosnia and Herzegovina
leaders would not have been there. This was two months after Srebrenica. I
had it first hand from the leaders of Bosnia they would not have gone into
the same room as Karadzic."
in that story the pressing the indictment -- even though Karadzic, like
Ratco Mladic, has still not been apprehended -- resulted in peace, Justice
Goldstone Thursday said that is not the test. "I don't know, and nobody else
does, if peace treaty in Uganda will last," he said. "Whether it will or it
won't shouldn't be the determining factor if there will be justice...
Whatever the cost I believe it is worth having no impunity for war
Justice Goldstone concluded with a challenge to the Lord's Resistance Army,
or really to the Museveni government and its supporters. "There is an escape
and it is an important one. The Security Council can request year old
suspensions. That' s a political decision. If the Ugandan leaders believe
that they need time to negotiate a peace agreement, let them make the case
to the Security Council." We'll see.
Time did not for now allow a question to Justice Goldstone about his service
on the Independent Inquiry Committee into United Nations Iraq Oil-for-Food
Program, including on whether the reforms and transparency promised during
that process have in fact been carried out. Release of some financial
disclosure forms, increased -- that is, some -- access to the Office of
Internal Oversight Services, these are questions that remain open.
Launched at the UN on Thursday was the 360-page "Human
Rights Learning - a
People's Report," coordinated by Shulamith Koenig. Ms. Koenig spoke of the
human right to such basics as water and medicine, while her collaborator
Walther Lichem, a former Austrian Ambassador to Chile and Canada, spoke of
cities in Chile where the subway stops and public squares are all named for
wars and not for human rights. "One day," he said. Indeed.
at the UN on Thursday, Inner City Press asked Kofi Annan's spokesman if the
UN's Higher Commission for Human Rights Louise Arbour is going to look into
and act on the final article about torture in Chechnya written by Russian
Anna Politkovskaya just
before she was assassinated last week. Inner City Press also asked for a
response to charges that
Russia has sent to Lebanon soldiers
accused of war crimes and other abuses in Chechnya.
The spokesman responded that the UN expects soldiers at act appropriately,
but that it is up to governments to guarantee that their soldiers act
appropriately. Suuuure... Later on Thursday, the spokesman's office
suggested to Inner City Press that the only way to get an answer would be
through the Lebanese or Russian mission to the UN. Again, suuure....