Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Search for Accountability in securing justice.

Primo Levi, the Auschwitz survivor wrote in 'The Drowned and the Saved";

“And there is another, vaster shame, the shame of the world. … And yet there are those who, faced by the crime of others or their own, turn their backs so as not to see it and not feel touched by it … deluding themselves that not seeing was a way of not knowing, and that not knowing relieved them of their share of complicity. … Never again could it be cleansed; it would prove that man, the human species – we, in short – had the potential to construct an infinite enormity of pain, and that pain is the only force created from nothing, without cost and without effort.”

The above is a piece that was written after Levi saw the Holocaust repeating itself in Cambodia. Accountability, as a word, doesnt seem to be in existence when it comes to crimes against humanity. More than half of the world today is victimised by international crimes while the international community sits in the UN and passes resolutions that seem to have no effect.
The other day I read on DAILY DARFUR that the US non intervention in the matter is because of Kharatoum's support and giving information to the US about Osama. Powerful governments dont seem to value life of the people in other parts of the world (ps: the death toll in darfur crosses 300,000). Gone are the days when Woodrow Wilson gave his fourteen points and pledged for the safety of the international order.
While international crimes are occurring there seems to be lack of action on the part of the international community to prevent them. The answer then lies in making the Governments responsible for the protection of the international order. The International Criminal Court (ICC) then is one step in furtherance of this effort. The first cases have been taken up by the Prosector against the Lords Resistance Army and the world is waiting to see what happens next. Can the Court stand up to the very principles it was meant to protect?
However, its not just governments that are playing a role in ensuring international justice. NGOs and activists have been very supportive and played an important part. More info can be found at the NGO Coalition Site. In India for instance, ICC - India is conducting awareness workshops about the International Criminal Court and mass crimes situations in India. Similar initiatives are seen in other countries.
There can be no justice without accountability. Accountability happens when the governments feel more responsible towards the lives of people.
(End of part I..............)

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