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Please see current site for War Crimes Issues

Department Seal on Maroon Background Text: Office of the Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues Maroon Underscore Embedded With 5 White Stars

Clickable Maroon Button with White Text: Ambassador's Remarks
Clickable Maroon Button With White Text: Atrocity Areas
Clickable Maroon Button With White Text: International Criminal Tribunal
Clickable Maroon Button With White Text: International Criminal Court
Clickable Maroon Button With White Text: Atrocity Prevention
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"We deal daily with the horrific handicraft of genocidaire, of torturers, of butchers, or of poorly trained soldiers who commit unjustified violence against civilians or abuse prisoners of war . . . At stake is not our freedom to conduct the just war justly, but the chance to save the lives of countless civilians and their means of shelter and livelihood from those whose pursuit of power knows no bounds. "
                            -- Ambassador David Scheffer,March 4, 1999
                                      Blaine Sloan Lecture, Pace University

The Office of War Crimes Issues (S/WCI) advises the Secretary of State directly on U.S. efforts to address serious violations of international humanitarian law committed anywhere in the world. These violations primarily concern large-scale atrocities including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues coordinates U.S. support for the functions of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the creation and operation of other courts and judicial mechanisms to bring perpetrators of international humanitarian law to justice. The Office of War Crimes Issues works closely with other offices at the State Department, other U.S. Government agencies, foreign governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations on all of these projects.

As the special envoy on war crimes issues, the Ambassador-at-Large works with the United Nations in consultation with the U.S. Mission to the United Nations on a number of issues involving the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the International Criminal Court, and other projects and initiatives, including judicial mechanisms for Sierra Leone, Cambodia, and East Timor.

The Ambassador-at-Large and staff make frequent trips overseas, including to The Hague, the Balkans, Africa, and Asia, meeting with high-ranking officials, to carry out U.S. government objectives for war crimes issues. Among other activities, the Ambassador-at-Large meets frequently with officials of the Tribunals and with victims of atrocities.

The first-ever Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes issues was David J. Scheffer, who was sworn into office on August 5, 1997 and left office as of January 20, 2001.


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