Comment on the Peace Lecture Question: “To what extent can the ICC advance peace around the world?”
Convenor Pace's comparison of the costs of UN/NATO spending versus the amount spent on international justice, suggests that there is a significant disparity in the amounts being spent on conducting war and the amount spent on fostering peace. Convenor Pace argues that the money spent on war-making could be much better spent in promoting peace and international justice. However, from a cynical perspective, it is difficult to argue that governments and international bodies will spend more on peace measures when security actions remain prerogatives that trump all other foreign policy alternatives. Convenor Pace argues that the ICC is least costly of all justice measures, a calculation that may be empirically true, but is difficult to justify amongst nation-states who solve geopolitical crises more rapidly and efficiently through security measures than through the ICC.
Justice can still be applied in this world, Convenor Pace argues. He cites Seamus Heaney's poem, “Troy”: “Don't hope on this side of the grave,” and refutes this sentiment by arguing that the ICC is the institution that indeed grants hope on this side of the grave. As the greatest human rights initiatives, the ICC has the unprecedented advance of promoting international justice and peace, he argues. However, while laudable in concept, given the ICC's very slow track record, how can governments be convinced that long-term international justice is preferable to short-term but effective security mobilization?
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