US: Women Needed On Bosnia Tribunal
UN WAR CRIMES BENCH
UNITED NATIONS, N.Y.
THE Clinton administration intends to press the United Nations to have women represented as judges and prosecutors on the UN's Bosnian war crimes tribunal.
According to United States officials, the inclusion of women is a key issue. The tribunal is expected to focus on the alleged organized rape of thousands of Muslim women by Serbs participating in the "ethnic cleansing" of the former Yugoslavia.
US officials maintain that the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which has voiced concern over atrocities committed against Bosnian Muslim women, supports their push for female representation.
It is unclear how receptive the world community will be toward the effort. Women have never sat on the International Court of Justice in The Hague. "It is time for these international legal organizations to have the representation of women," said a Clinton official briefing reporters at the UN.
The issue of including women is just one of the many details that the UN Security Council will have to address after it passes a pending resolution on the war crimes tribunal now under consideration. According to US officials, the resolution is likely to include:
* The creation of the tribunal under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. The US says this move is unprecedented for a multilateral document because normally member countries would separately ratify the document as a treaty. By using Chapter 7, the UN puts the full weight of the members of the Council behind the resolution's enforcement, the gathering of evidence, and the carrying out of sentences. According to the US official, this strategy will ensure that all nations abide by the tribunal. Serbian lawyers in Belgrade argue any tribunal should be created by treaty.