Do we need a comprehensive and binding international treaty in order to start to tackle the global issue of climate change? Of course not. Do we need the country of Lesotho to agree to chip in by reducing greenhouse gas emissions before other countries can move forward on addressing climate change? Again, of course not, and thankfully it seems that we are waking up to those simple facts.
The UN should be congratulated on setting up an official inquiry into the human rights violations perpetrated by the Sri Lankan government during the country’s civil war. Granted, that inquiry is coming rather late (about five years late), is horribly undermanned (only twelve official staff members), and is restricted to only ten months in which to complete its inquiry. And of course, it will only look at the last years of the civil war in Sri Lanka which ended in 2009, turning a blind eye to all of the ongoing human rights violations in the country today.
Let’s be honest here. In a perfect world, no prosecutor should take political factors into consideration when deciding who to investigate and who to prosecute. But we don’t live in a perfect world; far from it. Since the International Criminal Court is “the world’s most serious attempt at achieving international justice” (Bosco 1), it needs to be treated seriously. It needs to have its survival protected.
Stephen Krasner quite rightly argues in his article on sovereignty that the challenges states face to their sovereignty today are no different than the challenges they faced in the past. But to say that the notion or idea of sovereignty faces challenges is very different from declaring it dead or in decline.