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TEDxBuenosAires-Luis Moreno Ocampo-04/08/10

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Why would someone decide to kill thousands of persons? Because of my job I investigate these kind of people, but I meet them when they have no power. Usually they are in jail and, if they are alone, they show their weaknesses. I remember one day in the audience room, in Argentina, a general, renowned for his fierceness, wept while he awaited the judges and said "If I hadn't done what I did, they would have killed me." Others are different, particularly in public. When Admiral Massera delivered his statement in the Trial to the Juntas (1985), he said he didn't have to ask for forgiveness for winning the war. He had defeated the enemy. And that is the point. Massera and Videla were Commanders in Chief, they had approved a military plan. A revolutionary war was taking place. So, for them, what we considered as tortures or homicides of innocent people were like collateral damage of a bombing to enemy headquarters. They did not consider themselves as murderers. I once had an open conversation with an officer and explained my point, I said: "But, Commodore, you cannot tell me that torture and murder happened in order to defend freedom and democracy." He answered: "Prosecutor, those are our values and they are the enemy." And this is the point: we attack our enemies. We do it to defend our homeland, to defend the revolution, to defend our religion, to defend our tribe. The idea is "to attack our enemies is justified." And, then, massive crime is based on individuals that have an important virtue, that is loyalty to their group. That's why they attack. So massive crime perpetrators are not alone. 50.000 people attended President Milosevic funeral. When he died, he was in prison in The Hague indicted on a charge of massive crime committed in the former Yugoslavia. President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, is indicted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crime against millions of people in Darfur. However, he will probably win the next elections this weekend in Sudan. His group supports him and will vote for him. This is not strange. We want powerful people to protect us. If anyone of you, for example this big guy over there, doesn't like what I say and wants to attack me, I would expect the guard to protect me. I want someone to keep me safe. And if he attacks me anyway and the guard does nothing, I expect someone to help me, he is a big guy, young, I expect someone to help me. But if he has friends and they get involved in the fight, this will evolve into a battle. Because private justice has problems. Private justice has bad consequences. In this case, possibly with this battle, TED will be interrupted, and you don't want that. For me, if we commit to this battle and succeed in getting this man out, I'm not sure he would not wait for me outside and attack me again. So private justice is not good and that's the reason we want institutions, we want law. We want institutions that transcend the friend-foe concept and allow a society in which everyone is protected. Important note: Institutions do not reduce crime to zero. If the young man hits me, his hit will still hurt even though the guard puts him in jail. Institutions avoid crimes to escalate. They avoid the battle, they allow us to continue TED. Institutions avoid crimes to multiply. And that is one of the issues in Argentina. We have been suffering for many years the absence of efficient institutions. In "An Expedition to the Ranquel Indians" (1870) Lucio V. Mansilla tells how Ranquel Indians made justice. He asks one of them how they did it. When an Indian robbed a horse, the victim called his friends and family and attacked the house of the thief and took away a bunch of horses. So the question is: "What does the victim do when the thief has more friends or a more powerful family than the victim?" "Nothing" is the answer. "What do you mean by 'Nothing'?" And this is verbatim: "Sir", the Indian says, "the rule here is the same as among Christians, the poor people always get harmed." Without public institutions, with private justice, the weak can only loose and the powerful can escalate a horse robbery to a war. This happens not only in Argentina, but also happened in Europe during the 17th century. The war between catholic and protestant groups led to the Thirty Years' War that destroyed Europe. It was so serious that it produced a new paradigm: the Peace of Westphalia, we still live under it today. Westphalia establishes a very simple thing: the State monopolizes force through its police, judges and prosecutors -the Justice system. This fostered the development of Europe, I no longer needed my friends to protect my horses, I have always a guard to keep me from the big guy who wants to attack me, I no longer have enemies. I am a citizen. This is Westphalia. Of course, this Westphalia model does not work in Argentina the same way it does in Denmark. In Denmark the chief of police does not have a crime problem. There is almost no crime in Denmark. But it is not a problem of design, but one of implementation. Since many years we don't believe in Argentina in this idea of impartial institutions. In "Martin Fierro" (1872) the Viejo Vizcacha admonishes: "Befriend the judge." A hundred years later a minister from Menem's government (1989-1999) said: "There are two kinds of judges: friends or enemies. I prefer friends." So they nominated friends as judges. But not only during Menem's government. I remember a conversation with Chief of Police Pirker during Alfonsin's government (1983-1989) He said to me: "Prosecutor, lots of people come to me and say that the Police kills people illegally. The problem is that 95% of the population wants us to kill more." As among the Ranquels, we want a Justice of friends that attacks my enemies. We have still to implement Westphalia in Argentina. But I want to tell you today about the evolution of Westphalia at the international level. Because the Westphalia model created the idea that the sovereign States would balance their power and accomplish a permanent peace. On this topic there is a book a recommend by Michael Howard, a History professor at Oxford and Yale, a very short and relevant book, called "The invention of peace." He explains that during five thousand years Humanity used war as a means to solve its conflicts. Peace was the time between a war and the next. The idea of a permanent peace is new and begins after Westphalia. And, of course, it has not yet been implemented. Because Westphalia wasn't able to establish a permanent order. Westphalia could not prevent the First and the Second World Wars. In particular, you know that the Second World War starts after the Munich Pact. Hitler's Germany invades and controls northern Czechoslovakia and, however, France and Great Britain decide that was none of their business, we are sovereign States, this doesn't affect us, and they sign the Munich Pact. British Prime Minister went down in history by saying that he signed the treaty, looked into Hitler's eyes and realized he was a man people could trust. And added "British people can sleep peacefully." Hitler considered this as a weakness and invaded Poland. France and Great Britain realized this was against them as well and Second World War started. I want to show you a video that depicts the consequences of this. This video shows what allied forces found in the concentration camps. And shows the destructive capabilities of industrial development and management. So, after Second World War it is concluded that this cannot happen again and a new paradigm, that changes Westphalia, emerges. It goes: "No State has the faculty to violate the human rights of its citizens." Secondly: "International community can step in when peace and security are affected." Nuclear weapons force us into permanent peace. We need a permanent peace. No one will survive a Third World War. The issue here is that the principle is new but there is no impartial institution to implement it. There are fifteen countries that decide world's peace and security that form the United Nations Security Council. Five are veto-wielding permanent members. That's the reason why when Rwandan Genocide takes place in 1994, United Nations does not step in. Not a single State had enough interests to control the ensuing massacre. Do you know what they did? They left. As a consequence, in three months a million people, a million people were hacked to death with machetes. As Humanity learns its lessons by catastrophes, we have to prevent the following ones, something changed in 1998: The Rome Statute instituted the International Criminal Court. It is a new paradigm, an evolution from Westphalia. It integrates sovereign States in an unique Justice system. There is a network of states and a new court. They are more than a hundred countries that commit to end impunity for the crimes we promised were not going to happen again: Genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The States accept they have a responsibility. During the Trial to the Juntas no one said the State had this responsibility, now they do accept it. But they also accept that if they don't honor this commitment, an independent International Criminal Court will step in and they will support it. Something new is born, a global legal system without a global government. It's a global system built upon a network of national States with an International Criminal Court: a 21st century institution to help build permanent peace. Our first trial was against a leader from Congo who used kids under 15 years old as soldiers. Even before the trial has ended, the case has global impact, that's what's interesting about the Court, one case in the Court: global impact, the issue of kid soldiers is debated in Colombia and Nepal. Nepal, in particular, has released 3.000 kid soldiers as a consequence of a trial against a person from Congo. Even more important, armies around the world are updating their standards to the International Criminal Court Statute. The Armed Forces are changing their mode of operation. The Court is the most visible part of this new institution, but its strength lies in the commitment from these 111 States and from people like you, involved citizens. Impartial institutions to prevent crime from multiplying, to transcend the friend-or-foe binary model. The guard will help to avoid violence from escalating here, the State should help us to avoid having to buy brute force and Rome Statute should help to prevent violence in the world to come Loyalty can be extended from my family to my friends, to the State and now to Humanity. I want to show you a map that depicts how this group is growing as we speak. The cyan States have signed the Rome Stature, this was a very surprising event, but we thought that the statute wouldn't be ratified, 60 countries had to ratify it. In dark blue we see the States that did ratify it, and you see that in 2002, when full ratification is achieved, the Court starts operating. Now you see that this number is still growing, the leaders of this process are Europe, South America and Africa, three regions that have suffered, still do some, massive crime, plus Australia, New Zeland, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Jordain and Bangladesh, Mexico, Canada and some countries of Central America, like Santo Domingo. The new system is already working in the dark blue States. A global community is born. And this is important because we should understand that the most critical social issues of our time call for global solutions, that need global institutions. World peace, international commerce, global finance, climate change, international terrorism, international criminal organizations (even using Internet) are the global issues that need global institutions. This is our challenge: To create global institutions, independent and efficient, to solve global issues. Let me finish with an example of increasing loyalty to mankind. Since the Court ordered his arrest, President Bashir is trying to prove that he can travel to a State that has ratified the Statute and not be arrested. I was in Congo and learned that he was traveling to Uganda. So I went to Uganda to meet the president. President form Uganda said: "Prosecutor, it is true, I have invited him. But you won't understand it, because this is related to the mores of our tribe. At the end of the day, Bashir belongs to my tribe." So I said: "But, President, I love the 'tribe' concept, in fact I've always thought that you and me belonged to the same tribe, the International Criminal Court tribe. So, as you belong to Bashir's tribe, you invite him, but since you belong to the Court's tribe, you arrest him when he lands here." Bashir did not travel. The tribe is growing. Thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 17 minutes and 28 seconds
Year: 2010
Country: Argentina
Language: Spanish (Spain)
Genre: None
Producer: TEDxBuenosAires
Director: TEDxBuenosAires
Views: 107
Posted by: fsimonotti on Jul 4, 2010

Twenty-first century global institutions

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