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Crimes Against Humanity: Little Progress on Treaty as UN Legal Committee Concludes its Work

Excerpt of Just Security Op-Ed co-authored by GJC President Akila Radhakrishnan.

The United Nations General Assembly’s legal committee again missed the opportunity to take action this year on the draft text of a new treaty on crimes against humanity proposed by the International Law Commission. The failure, in the form of a vote Nov. 18 on a draft resolution that simply took note of the draft articles, leaves a critical gap in the legal architecture for preventing and punishing mass atrocity crimes. The result deprives a range of victims and survivors the effective protection and justice they deserve.

As this series has demonstrated, it is imperative to adopt such a treaty for a host of reasons. Even amid substantive disagreements on what the new treaty should include, those cannot be debated and resolved until there is forward momentum and a concrete schedule for such discussions. However, despite overwhelming support from States to establish such a process this year, a few States that appear vehemently opposed to the project stalled concrete progress yet again.

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Tags: United Nations, Articles