June 23, 2004 – After a majority of UN Security Council members indicated they would abstain from voting on a US-sponsored resolution that would have extended the special immunity for American troops who commit war crimes abroad, the US withdrew the bill on Wednesday. As a result of previous success by the US at using threats to convince member nations to provide special immunity, American troops spent the last two years uniquely impervious to prosecution by a new, international tribunal. But when that immunity ends on June 30, American military personnel will technically be subject to the courtâ€™s jurisdiction.
American officials told reporters the US will continue to negotiate individual agreements with member nations to ensure those countries do not use the International Criminal Court (ICC), which the US has refused to ratify, to prosecute American troops or officials for war crimes. Ninety such agreements have already been signed.