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UN-ICC Cooperation: Walking A Tightrope

Tom Buitelaar is an Assistant Professor in the War, Peace & Justice program of the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. This paper suggests a number of important avenues for states, the UN, and the ICC to improve the likelihood that the ICC receives assistance from UN peace operations.

Tom Buitelaar
17 January 2022
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United Nations (UN) peacekeepers are frequently in a position to assist the International Criminal Court (ICC) in its efforts to prosecute war criminals in conflict zones. This research note discusses the conditions under which UN peacekeepers assist the ICC and the potential costs and benefits of assistance for both the ICC and the UN. It argues that the UN may offer unique assets to assist the ICC, that cooperation may help improve synergy in international conflict interventions, and that the ICC’s efforts may undergird the UN’s efforts to promote reconciliation and build sustainable peace. However, the UN’s assistance to the ICC may also undermine peace operations’ key operating principles of consent, impartiality and limited use of force; introduce peace and justice dilemmas; and politicize justice. 

Read the paper here

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