Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the ICC Assembly of States Parties' Decision on Kenya

Samantha Power
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
New York, NY
November 27, 2013


I applaud the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Assembly of States Parties’ achievement in reaching consensus today on a package of amendments to the ICC’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The United States believes in the importance of accountability for those responsible for crimes against humanity, and we have taken seriously Kenyan concerns about the ongoing trial proceedings.

Earlier this month, when the issue came before the United Nations Security Council, I encouraged Kenya and the African Union to work within the framework of the Assembly of States Parties to enable the proceedings to be conducted in a manner that would not make the Kenyan defendants choose between mounting a vigorous legal defense and continuing to do their jobs. Today, because of the remarkable efforts of the Assembly of States Parties members, including the Kenyan delegation, supported by many African Union member states including South Africa and Botswana, the Assembly of States Parties has done just that.

The situation the ICC is confronting in the Kenya cases is a new one. The ICC has never before tried a defendant who is also a sitting head-of-state and who has appeared voluntarily in Court. I offer my congratulations to the Assembly of States Parties, and particularly the States Parties who engaged constructively to help refine the Court’s own processes and resolved this matter in a manner that appropriately protects the rights and interests of both victims and defendants while allowing the judicial process to proceed without delay.


PRN: 2013/246