Comment on the Peace Lecture Question: “To what extent can the ICC advance peace around the world?”
While I agree the point Mr. Pace was making was to draw attention to the tremendous amounts of money spent on war and security vs. peace and justice, personally, I find this to be a false dichotomy. Comparing the costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the yearly costs of the ICC is misleading as they are not directly related. While it is immensely important that we understand how much money is spent on waging war and conflict (in order to drastically reduce such expenditures in the future), I fail to understand how reallocating resources towards peace will solve the problem. Simply throwing more money into the ICC or other peace and development efforts ignores the local factors that perpetuate and cause wars. More money does not mean a more peaceful world.
Additionally and unfortunately, the international community is extremely limited in efforts to prevent or stop war (look no further than Syria, the DRC, continuing instability in Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.). The role of the ICC in advancing peace is impossible to quantify and in my opinion is rather inconsequential today (though if the ICC can promote reconciliation in a specific country, that can have impact in mitigating future conflicts). However, the role of the ICC could grow in this arena to be a significant one, dependent on how far norms of peace proliferate and are respected.
The international community, including the US, does not properly respect international justice or international jurisprudence - there are far too many violations of the rights of citizens codified by the UN's Declaration of Human Rights in democratic and non-democratic countries. This in turn hurts the ICC's efforts to advance peace. Until its signatories ensure the rights of its own citizens are properly respected, the ICC will be constrained in its ability to advance peace.
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