How would you like Kim Jong-un to be standing trial in the International Criminal Court for all the human rights abuses he allegedly perpetrated in his reclusive, communist nation?
The United Nations is going to do exactly that, except that the dictator could never, in practice, be forced into standing the trial. The European Union is pushing the UN to refer the dictator to the Court over human rights violations and a draft resolution prepared by the EU containing the plan was circulated on Wednesday, a South Korean media report said.
"It marks the first time that a UN resolution on North Korean human rights includes a plan to bring the North Korean leadership to an international court over anti-human rights charges although this is a draft now," South Korean Yonhap News Agency quoted an unnamed diplomatic source as saying. The UN adopts a North Korean human rights resolution every year and it has been taking place since 2005.
However, this could mean nothing more than building international pressure on the regime. Even if the resolution is eventually passed at the General Assembly, there is only little chance that Kim would actually stand trial at the ICC. The Rome Statute, which established the ICC, mandates that only the members of governments that signed the Statute or of the UN Security Council can stand trial, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo noted.
Under a special clause, however, the UN Security Council can bring before the ICC individuals belonging to governments that have not signed up to the Rome Statute, if the case involves human rights abuses. This means North Korea could be referred to the ICC via the Security Council, but all will be in vain if China and Russia – who are permanent members – veto the plan.
"The UN resolution is not enough to bring the case before the ICC. But although it is non-binding, it will put tremendous political pressure on North Korea," the South Korean newspaper quoted an unnamed government official as saying.