Human rights attorney Amal Clooney implored the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday to bring ISIS fighters to justice and urged them to pass a resolution declaring sexual violence a "weapon of war."
"This is your Nuremberg moment — your chance to stand on the right side of history," she said, referring to the famous Nuremberg trials that tried Nazi officials for their roles in war crimes perpetrated during WWII.
She urged member states to go beyond a draft resolution — combatting sexual violence as a weapon of war— in order to bring ISIS terrorists to justice. "You owe it to ... the thousands of women and girls who must watch ISIS members shave off their beards and go back to their normal lives while they, the victims, never can," she said.
Clooney's speech focused primarily on strengthening the international justice system that would allow Yazidi victims to "look their accusers in the eye."
She deplored the fact that in the event that authorities caught ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, his case likely wouldn't make it to the International Criminal Court (ICC), a controversial body that tries individuals for crimes such as genocide.
"The United States government has recently said — through its national security adviser John Bolton and its Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — that the ICC is 'dead to us' and that those who support certain ICC investigations can be denied entry to the U.S., have their assets frozen, and may even face arrest," Clooney said.
Pompeo said in March the administration would deny U.S. visas for ICC employees who furthered prosecution against U.S. military and civilian personnel.
“We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation,” he said.
The sexual violence resolution, which passed after Clooney's speech, faced opposition from the United States due to language it worried could be used to support abortion. When the resolution passed, it lacked the original phrasing that guaranteed "comprehensive health services."
"Recognizing the importance of providing timely assistance to survivors of sexual violence, urges United Nations entities and donors to provide non-discriminatory and comprehensive health services, in line with Resolution 2106," the original language read.
French UN ambassador Francois Delattre blasted the alteration.
"It is intolerable and incomprehensible that the Security Council is incapable of acknowledging that women and girls who suffered from sexual violence in conflict, and who obviously didn't choose to become pregnant, should have the right to terminate their pregnancy," he said.