A talk by Amb. David Scheffer, the first US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes, about his new book, "All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals (Human Rights and Crimes Against Humanity)". This talk was co-sponsored by the UCLA International Human Rights Law Program.
Within days of Madeleine Albright’s confirmation as US ambassador to the United Nations in 1993, she instructed David Scheffer to spearhead the historic mission to create a war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. As senior adviser to Albright and then as President Clinton’s ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, Scheffer was at the forefront of the efforts that led to criminal tribunals for the Balkans, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia, that ultimately resulted in the creation of the permanent International Criminal Court. All the Missing Souls is Scheffer’s gripping insider’s account of the international gamble to prosecute those responsible for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and to redress some of the bloodiest human rights atrocities of our time.
Scheffer reveals the truth behind Washington's failures during the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, the anemic hunt for notorious war criminals, how American exceptionalism undercut his diplomacy, and the perilous quests for accountability in Kosovo and Cambodia. He takes readers from the killing fields of Sierra Leone to the political back rooms of the UN Security Council, providing candid portraits of major figures such as Madeleine Albright, Anthony Lake, Richard Goldstone, Louise Arbour, Samuel "Sandy" Berger, Richard Holbrooke, and Wesley Clark, among others.
A stirring personal account of an important historical chapter, All the Missing Souls provides new insights into the continuing struggle for international justice.
David Scheffer is an American lawyer and diplomat who served as the first United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues during President Bill Clinton's second term in office. As ambassador, Scheffer participated in the creation of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the Extraordinary Chambers in Cambodia. He also led the US negotiating team in United Nations talks on the International Criminal Court. Though Scheffer signed the Rome Statute that established the ICC on behalf of the US in 2000, he was a highly vocal critic of many aspects of the court and the negotiation process. He particularly opposed the prohibition on any party making reservations to the Rome Statute and the manner in which the Statute structured the court's jurisdiction. He currently teaches at the Northwestern University School of Law, where he directs the Center for International Human Rights.
Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2012