Building international structures for peace

 

Sir, – The United Nations and the International Criminal Court have provided a certain level of peace, stability, justice and hope since the second World War. They have done this despite geopolitical interests, and attempts by the more powerful nations on the UN Security Council to control decisions and intimidate smaller nations with threats of intervention and war to threats to withdraw aid and funding.

The Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court held its 16th session in December at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The assembly agreed to extend its jurisdiction to include the crime of aggression as a war crime, which is a major change in international law, perhaps the most important for years.

The Peace and Neutrality Alliance welcomes this decision and will seek legal advice on its implications, as it is critical for the court’s credibility that recognition of the crime of aggression means we can hold all countries and their leaders, past and present to account, not just third-world dictators.

Three million US troops have used Shannon Airport over the past 15 years as a stopover on their way to imperialist wars, so we need to examine this new addition closely to see if it includes “complicity with wars of aggression” as an offence.

There should be no confusion about the definition of Irish neutrality if our starting point is “no complicity with imperialist wars of aggression”.

Let us celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed 70 years ago by working together in building and improving international structures for peace, justice and hope in 2018. – Yours, etc,

ROGER COLE,

Chairman,

Peace and

Neutrality Alliance,

Dalkey Business Centre,

Castle Street,

Dalkey, Co Dublin.