International Institutions

International Law Section Policy

Below is a list of international policies adopted by the ABA House of Delegates. Please be advised that members must follow the policy procedure and usage guidelines outlined in the American Bar Association’s Constitution and Bylaws, Rules of Procedure of the House of Delegates. The specific procedures are available on the policy homepage.

International Institutions

Capital Increases for International Financial Institutions  Urges the Congress to fund U.S. participation in capital increases and replenishments for the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. 8/11

International Criminal Court.  Urges the United States Government to expand and broaden interaction with the International Criminal Court (“ICC”), including cooperation with the Court’s investigations and proceedings and urging the government to participate in all future sessions of the ICC’s governing body, the Assembly of States Parties and preparations for the Review Conference to be held in 2010.  08/08

U.N. Democracy Caucus. Supports the creation of a United Nations Democracy Caucus within the United Nations (UN) framework to work towards the strengthening of democracy, human rights and the rule of law throughout the UN system. 2/04

Harmonization of Domestic and Foreign Regulations. Recommends, with respect to significant agency efforts to harmonize domestic and foreign regulations through international negotiations that may require new regulations or the amendment of existing regulations, that: (1) the President seek to ensure effective public participation by encouraging federal agencies to follow mentioned guidelines, and (2) federal agencies consider public input concerning significant agency efforts to harmonize domestic and foreign regulations through international negotiations by following mentioned guidelines. 8/01

International Criminal Court. Recommend that the US accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. (01M103C) 2/01

U.N. -- Funding. Reaffirm ABA support for an effective U.N. as essential to achieving peace, promoting sustainable development and advancing the rule of law and urge the U.S. government to enhance its relationship with the U.N.. Urge the U.S. to pay its outstanding dues to the U.N. and work to assure effective financing of U.N. institutions in the future. Urge the U.S. to ratify specific treaties previously endorsed by the ABA House of Delegates, including The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. (00M10H) 7/00

International Criminal Court. Urge Congress to enact legislation that would require the President to 1) report to the Congress within thirty days after receiving notice from the International Criminal Court Prosecutor that a U.S. National committed an act within the jurisdiction of the Court; 2) take all reasonable steps to assure that the U.S. retains jurisdiction to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute the alleged act; and 3) report promptly to Congress on subsequent actions by the ICC with respect to the alleged act. (01M105C) 2/00

International Criminal Court. Support establishment of a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) by multilateral treaty to prosecute and punish individuals who commit the most serious crimes under international law, and recommend a continued active role for the U.S. government in negotiating and drafting a treaty to establish the ICC. Suggest that the ICC have automatic jurisdiction over genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, that the ICC’s jurisdiction should complement the jurisdiction of national criminal justice systems, that the U.N. Security Council, states parties to the ICC treaty, and the ICC Prosecutor (subject to appropriate safeguards) be permitted to initiate proceedings when a crime appears to have been committed, and that standards of fairness and due process be protected. 2/98

International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group. Amend the prior ABA Resolution to include support for consideration of an enhanced role for the IMF in the monitoring and appropriate regulation of international capital movements and capital market operations in order to achieve a principal purpose of its charter: the promotion of a stable system of exchange rates in the world economy. 2/96

U.N. -- Personnel . Support ratification by the U.S. of the Convention on the Safety of U.N. and Associated Personnel, and recommend the U.S. and other parties interpret and apply the Convention under specific enumerated statements of understanding. 2/96

International Atomic Energy Agency. Urge the U.S. government to continue its support for the Agency and to take several enumerated steps, including those to enhance the safeguards system relating to assurances of compliance under the Non-Proliferation Treaty; urge review of safety standards for nuclear facilities; and consider alternatives to Agency. 8/95

International Labor Organization. Urge U.S. to continue to be an active supportive member of the ILO and commend the U.S. for creating the President's Committee on the ILO, Consultative Group on the ILO, and Tripartite Advisory Panel on International Labor Standards. Urge accelerated progress by these bodies toward ratification of those ILO conventions on human rights which are consistent with U.S. law and practice. 8/95

International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group. Recommend that the U.S. government give strong support to the IMF and World Bank Group by providing assistance in the ongoing scrutiny of their operations, support a re-examination of the IMF’s role vis-à-vis international capital movements and private international capital markets, and give increased attention to the development of the legal systems in member countries, particularly those countries undergoing major institutional reform. 8/95

U.N. -- Food and Agricultural Organization. Urge the U.S. government to continue to give strong support to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO), including its activities in setting international standards and providing technical assistance in drafting and implementing appropriate national legislation, encourage the FAO in its efforts to restructure itself, streamline its operations, and strengthen its transparency and accountability, and endorse stronger coordination efforts within the U.N. system which clarify the mandate, roles and tasks of the FAO and the organizations with which it works most closely. 8/95

U.N. -- UNESCO. Urge the U.S. government to rejoin UNESCO at the earliest possible time, so that it may take part in UNESCO’s mandate to promote international cooperation through education, science, and culture. 8/95

World Health Organization. Recommend that the U.S. government continue to give its strong support to the WHO and more effective implementation of public health improvements through increased WHO standard setting and development of elements of model legislation, regulations and enforcement measures, adaptable to countries’ individual needs. 8/95

International Court of Justice. Recommend that the U.S. government present a declaration recognizing as compulsory the jurisdiction of the ICJ in all legal disputes arising concerning the interpretation of a treaty, any question of international law, the existence of any fact which, if established, would constitute a breach of an international obligation, and the nature or extent of the reparation to be made for the breach of an international obligation. Provide for several exceptions to such a declaration. 8/94

International Criminal Court. Recommend that the U.S. Government take an active role in establishing an international criminal court based on enumerated principles for consensual and mandatory jurisdiction. Consensual jurisdiction should be based on the consent of the state having custody over a person accused of a crime specified in an international convention which adequately defines the crime, has been accepted worldwide, and contains the extradite or prosecute obligation. Mandatory jurisdiction should be based on a decision by the Security Council issued pursuant to its powers under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter. 8/94

U.N. -- Peacekeeping Forces. Recommend that the U.S. government support the creation by the U.N., in addition to trained peacekeeping forces, of trained standby military forces for peacemaking and peace enforcement, composed of units from the national military forces of State Members of the U.N., which would be available on call by the Security Council under conditions prescribed in agreements to be concluded pursuant to Article 43 of the U.N. Charter. 8/94

International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia . Support establishment of an International Tribunal to prosecute persons responsible for breaches of international humanitarian law in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991. Urge the U.S. Congress to adopt implementing legislation to enable the President to give full support to the Tribunal, such as limiting the discretion of courts under current U.S. law to deny assistance to the Tribunal in the service of documents and the collection of evidence, and recognizing the obligation of the U.S. under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter to arrest accused persons and to surrender them to the Tribunal. Advocate certain efforts be made to assure due process and procedural safeguards. 8/93

International Criminal Court . Additions to the prior Resolution. Recommend that the U.S. government work toward finding solutions to the numerous important legal and practical issues identified in the reports of the “Task Force on an International Criminal court” and the New York State Bar Association, with a view toward the establishment of an international criminal court. Consider that the jurisdiction of the court should be concurrent with that of member states, no one should be tried before the court unless jurisdiction has been conferred upon the court by the state of which he is a national and by the state in which the crime was committed, the fundamental rights of the accused should be protected, and the obligations of states under the court’s constituent instruments should be enforced by sanctions. 8/92

U.N. -- Funding. Strongly urge, as a matter of the highest priority, that the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government pay immediately and in full the U.S.’s debt to the U.N. for its regular and peacekeeping expenses. 8/92

International Criminal Court. Recommend that the U.S. government pursue the establishment of an international court, so long as the jurisdiction of the court is concurrent with that of member states, no one is tried unless jurisdiction has been conferred upon the court by the state of which he is a national and by the state in which the crime was committed, and the fundamental rights of the accused are protected. 2/92

International Criminal Court . Establish a Blue Ribbon Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court. 2/91

International Court of Justice . Reaffirm the ABA’s commitment to world order under the rule of law and its conviction that acceptance by all nations of the ICJ’s jurisdiction would lead to the attainment of this goal. Urge the U.S. government to initiate negotiations regarding possible dispute resolution in a Special Chamber of the ICJ should one party to the dispute request it. Support the recent initiatives of the U.S. and Soviet Union with regard to increasing recourse to the ICJ for the settlement of legal disputes and suggest an additional treaty between the two states regarding the ICJ. Recommend that the U.S. and other states explore the conditions under which they would be willing to submit specified categories of disputes to the ICJ. 8/89

Organization of American States. Urge the U.S. government to meet promptly and fully its financial obligations to the OAS, and to actively support a larger budget allocation within the OAS for the activities of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 8/89

U.N. -- UNESCO . Support the return of the U.S. to membership in UNESCO, increased efforts of the U.S. government towards that purpose, and urge the U.S. government to finalize arrangements necessary to enable it to renew its membership as quickly as possible. 2/89

U.N. -- Funding. Express concern regarding the report of the Secretary General of the U.N. that the U.S. is seriously in arrears in its payments to the U.N. and call on the Administration and Congress to give immediate attention to this matter. 8/88. Withdrawn.

Convention Establishing the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. Urge the President of the U.S. to sign and ratify the Convention in a timely manner and the U.S. Congress to take appropriate legislative action to implement it. 2/86

U.N. -- UNESCO . Support efforts of the U.S. and other nations to bring about reforms in UNESCO designed to emphasize its core programs in the fields of education, science, communications and culture, revise programs which duplicate activities of other U.N. agencies, eliminate politicization, reform budgetary and management practices, and strengthen the Executive Board. Support the active continued participations of the U.S. through its observer mission and its reform observation panel of private citizens so that the U.S. will be in a position to consider a return to membership. 2/86

International Court of Justice . Reiterate the ABA’s support for the U.S. government’s participation in the ICJ and urges that in the future the U.S. government refrain from unnecessarily diminishing U.S. acceptance of the jurisdiction of the ICJ. 8/84

U.N. -- Representation. Support adoption of the principle by the U.N. General Assembly that all nations with a population over 200 million have an automatic equal representation with various regional blocs in all the organs and specialized agencies of the U.N.. 2/84

International Court of Justice . Urge U.S. approval of expansion of advisory opinion jurisdiction of the ICJ to include questions of international law referred by national courts. 2/82

World Bank. Oppose unilateral legislative restrictions on contributions to the World Bank and other international development banks which are inconsistent with their charters. 8/79

International Criminal Court. Urge the U.S. State Department to open negotiations for a Convention for the establishment of an International Criminal Court with jurisdiction expressly limited to (a) international aircraft hijacking; (b) violence aboard international; and (c) crimes against diplomats and internationally protected persons. Authorize the President of the ABA to present the Resolution and report to the State and Justice Departments, and request that those Departments consult with the ABA concerning the substantive phraseology of a convention. 2/78

U.N. -- Participation. Support the efforts by the U.S. to uphold the U.N. Charter and the right of all member states to participate in the deliberations and activities of the General Assembly and Specialized Agencies. Endorse legal interpretation by the U.S. that the U.N. Charter does not permit the suspension or expulsion of any U.N. member state except upon the recommendation of the Security Council. 8/75

International Court of Justice. Support Senate repeal of Connally Reservation in order to remove from sole U.S. determination the question of whether an international legal action subjects the U.S. to the jurisdiction of the Court. 5/73

International Labor Organization. Recommend that the U.S. immediately pay the full contribution owing to the ILO. 2/72

U.N. – General Support. Support and favor strengthening of the U.N. 8/61; 8/72