General Assembly Adopts Text Authorizing $3.52 Million to Ease Global Food Insecurity, Considers Annual International Court of Justice Report
Speakers Seek Advisory Opinion on States’ Rights, Obligations in Addressing Climate Crisis, Stress World Court’s Fundamental Role in Upholding Rule of Law
The General Assembly today adopted a resolution delivering $3.52 million to the Secretary-General to ease global food insecurity by facilitating the implementation of two key initiatives aimed at bringing agricultural commodities from Ukraine and the Russian Federation to world markets and countries in need. The Assembly also considered the International Court of Justice’s annual report.
By the terms of the resolution, titled “Revised estimates on United Nations activities to mitigate global food insecurity and its humanitarian impact” contained in a report by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) on the 2022 programme budget (document A/77/535), the Assembly approved additional resource requirements and authorized the Secretary-General to enter into commitments up to $3.52 million, noting that the use of this commitment authority will be included in the 2022 financial performance report.
In April, the Secretary-General established two United Nations task forces to negotiate the parallel implementation of the Trade Facilitation Initiative — for unimpeded access of Russian Federation food products and fertilizers to the world market — and the Initiative on the Safe Transportation of Grain and Foodstuffs from Ukrainian Ports, known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative — for safely navigating exports of grains, related foodstuffs and fertilizers from Ukraine. On 22 July, the United Nations Secretariat signed a memorandum of understanding with the Russian Federation to facilitate the Trade Facilitation Agreement. The same day, in Istanbul, with the Secretary-General as a witness, Türkiye, Russian Federation and Ukraine set up a maritime humanitarian corridor for the safe transportation of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizers from Ukrainian ports through the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Also today, 50 speakers took the rostrum for the Assembly’s review of the International Court of Justice report (document A/77/4), which covers the period 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022, with many delegations stressing the Court’s important role in the rule of law. Several speakers called on States to respect the Court’s jurisdiction and some urged for stronger cooperation between the Security Council and the Court. Several representatives also called for more funding for the Court as others expressed their support for the Trust Fund for its judicial fellowship programme.
Joan E. Donoghue, the Court’s President, said its docket remained full throughout the reporting period, with 16 cases on its list involving States from around the world and touching on a wide range of issues. Five new cases have been instituted since 1 August 2021. Two cases — one initiated by Armenia, the other by Azerbaijan — deal with alleged violations of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. One was submitted by Ukraine against the Russian Federation under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Germany withdrew its requests for the indication of provisional measures in its case against Italy on the latter’s alleged failure to respect its jurisdictional immunity, as did Equatorial Guinea in its case against France alleging violations of the latter’s obligations under the United Nations Convention against Corruption of 31 October 2003.
She briefed the Assembly on the Court’s decisions during the reporting period in cases involving Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda, Nicaragua v. Colombia, The Gambia v. Myanmar, Armenia v. Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan v. Armenia and Ukraine v. Russian Federation. In addition, she updated Member States on the Trust Fund for the Court’s Judicial Fellowship Programme and on the planned renovations of the Peace Palace.
Ukraine’s representative, in providing an overview of his country’s cases against the Russian Federation before the Court, said that the international community will move one step close towards peace, equality and a rules-based order once that country complies with that body’s orders.
Under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the Court’s provisional measures are legally binding, the representative of Slovakia stressed while speaking on behalf of the Visegrád Group. The Russian Federation’s failure to comply is blatant proof of its disrespect for the law and for international institutions.
The Russian Federation’s war of aggression not only violated another Member State’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, but also tested the very principles of the United Nations, the United States’ representative added, while his counterpart from Albania warned that the international community must successfully pass this serious test of the rules-based order for it to not drift into a lawless world.
Regarding climate change, the representative of Sierra Leone pointed out that the wide range of cases before the Court illustrates that body’s universality, jurisdiction and competence to provide authoritative views on legal questions on that topic.
As such, Vanuatu’s representative, speaking on behalf of a core group of States, said he will finalize a draft resolution requesting the Court to provide an advisory opinion on climate change. Humanity must “leave no stone unturned in its effort to address the climate crisis”, he emphasized. The Court can clarify the rights and obligations of States under international law and vis-à-vis small island developing States and other climate vulnerable States; due diligence requirements for emitters of greenhouse gases; and the implications on the human rights of present and future generations. “The world is at a crossroads and we, as world leaders, have an obligation to take action that preserves and protects the planet for future generations,” he stressed.
Echoing this concern and speaking on behalf of small island developing States, the representative of Samoa underscored that the financial burden for loss and damages falls almost entirely on the affected nations. Seeking clarifications under existing treaties is not an exercise of litigation, but rather “morally the right thing to do”, he emphasized.
Such a move, Viet Nam’s representative added, will help shed light on unresolved legal aspects, reinforce collective efforts to combat climate change and strengthen the role of the Court as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. An advisory opinion would furthermore have a decisive impact on the future of human life on this planet, the representative of Costa Rica commented. There can be no climate justice without a human-rights-based approach, she warned.
Numerous speakers also paid tribute to Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade of Brazil, one of the Court’s 15 judges, who died on 29 May at the age of 74. The Security Council and General Assembly will meet independently but concurrently on 4 November to elect his successor. (See Press Release SC/14944.)
In addition to the Court’s annual report, the Assembly had before it a report by the Secretary-General titled “Secretary-General’s trust fund to assist States in the settlement of disputes through the International Court of Justice” (document A/77/204).
Also speaking today were the representatives of Lithuania (on behalf of the Baltic States), New Zealand (also on behalf of Canada and Australia), Sweden (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Azerbaijan (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Angola (on behalf of the Community of Portuguese‑Speaking Countries), Italy, Guatemala, Brazil, Ecuador, China, Belgium, Honduras, Singapore, Romania, Mexico, Nicaragua, Germany, Paraguay, Cyprus, Republic of Korea, Cuba, Switzerland, France, Chile, Egypt, Malaysia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Argentina, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Ireland, Peru, Iran, Japan, Oman, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates and South Africa, as well as the European Union, in its capacity as an observer.
The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Monday, 31 October, to take up the annual report of the International Criminal Court and the Secretary-General’s related reports. The Assembly will continue its debate on the report of the International Court of Justice on Wednesday, 2 November in the afternoon following the debate on oceans and the law of the sea, and considerations on implementing a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse.
Briefing by President of the International Court of Justice
JOAN E. DONOGHUE, President of the International Court of Justice, said that during the reporting period the Court’s docket remained full, with 16 cases on its list. Five new cases have been instituted since 1 August 2021. They include a case filed by Armenia against Azerbaijan concerning alleged violations of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; a case submitted by Azerbaijan against Armenia alleging violations of the same Convention; an application submitted by Ukraine against the Russian Federation under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; proceedings instituted by Germany against Italy on the latter’s alleged failure to respect its jurisdictional immunity; and a case submitted by Equatorial Guinea against France alleging violations of the latter’s obligations under the United Nations Convention against Corruption of 31 October 2003. Both Germany and Equatorial Guinea withdrew their requests for the indication of provisional measures.
During the reporting period, she said that the Court held hearings in seven cases and delivered four judgements and three orders on provisional measures. The Court also issued an order on a request for modification of previously imposed provisional measures.
Providing a brief account of the Court’s decisions during the period under review, she said that in the case concerning Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda), she said that because Uganda withdrew its claim for compensation, the Court’s judgement dealt exclusively with the question of the reparations owed by Uganda to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Noting that this was the first instance in which the Court was called upon to rule on reparations for large-scale deaths and personal injuries arising out of an armed conflict, she said the Court awarded $225 million for damage to persons, $40 million for damage to property and $60 million for damage related to natural resources. The total amount due by Uganda is to be paid in five annual instalments of $65 million starting on 1 September 2022.
In the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia), the Court found that Colombia had breached its obligation to respect Nicaragua’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the latter’s exclusive economic zone, interfered with fishing and marine scientific research activities of Nicaraguan-flagged or Nicaraguan-licensed vessels and with the operations of Nicaraguan naval vessels, purported to enforce conservation measures and authorized fishing activities in that zone. The Court thus concluded that Colombia must immediately cease its wrongful conduct. On Nicaragua’s second claim, the Court found that the “integral contiguous zone” established by a Colombian Presidential Decree did not conform with customary international law and held that Colombia was under an obligation to bring the decree’s provisions into conformity. Turning to the counter-claims made by Colombia, the Court dismissed the alleged infringement by Nicaragua of customary artisanal fishing rights on the basis that the evidence adduced did not support the existence of such rights. The Court then examined the court-claim relating to Nicaragua’s establishment of straight baselines, found that such baselines did not meet the requirements of customary international law and concluded that a declaratory judgement was an appropriate remedy.
In the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar), the Court found that Article VIII of the Convention did not govern its seisin and that the Gambia had standing as a State party to the Convention. The Court subsequently rejected the four preliminary objections raised by Myanmar and found that it had jurisdiction on the basis of Article IX. The proceedings on the merits of this case have now resumed with 24 April 2023 as the time-limit for Myanmar’s filing of its Counter-Memorial.
Turning to the three orders during the period under review, she said that in the two cases concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Armenia v. Azerbaijan) and (Azerbaijan v. Armenia), the Court concluded that it had jurisdiction under the Convention. In both cases, the Court further called on both Parties to refrain from actions which might aggravate or extend the dispute.
In the Armenia v. Azerbaijan case, the Court found plausible the right of prisoners of war and civilian detainees held in Azerbaijan not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment based on their ethnic or national origin as well as the rights allegedly violated through incitement, the promotion of racial hatred, vandalism and desecration of Armenian cultural heritage. The Court, however, held that the Convention did not plausibly require Azerbaijan to repatriate civilian detainees and prisoners of war. The Court ordered Azerbaijan to protect all persons captured in relation to the 2020 conflict from violence and bodily harm; prevent the incitement and promotion of racial hatred and discrimination; and prevent and punish acts of vandalism and desecration.
In the Azerbaijan v. Armenia case, the Court found plausible the rights allegedly violated through Armenia’s failure to condemn the activities within its territory of groups characterized by Azerbaijan as armed ethnonationalist hate groups, as well as Armenia’s failure to punish those responsible for such activities. The Court, however, found that the Convention did not plausibly require Armenia to cease planting landmines or enable Azerbaijan to undertake demining. The Court ordered Armenia to prevent the incitement and promotion of racial hatred targeted at persons of Azerbaijani national or ethnic origin. In response to Armenia’s request for the Court to modify its Order of 7 December 2021, the Court concluded in its Order of 12 October 2022 that the hostilities which erupted between the Parties in September 2022 and the ensuing detention of Armenian military personnel did not constitute a change in the situation which would justify modification.
In the case concerning Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), instituted by Ukraine in response to the Russian Federation’s “special military operation”, she said the Court concluded that Ukraine had a plausible right not to be subjected to military operations by the Russian Federation for the purpose of preventing and punishing an alleged genocide in the territory of Ukraine. In concluding that there was urgency since prejudice to this right was capable of causing irreparable harm, the Court ordered the Russian Federation to immediately suspend its military operations and ensure that any military or irregular armed units as well as any organizations and persons subject to that country’s direction do not further said operations.
Following the order, Ukraine filed its Memorial on 1 July 2022 with declarations of interventions filed by 22 States since then. The European Union has also filed a document in these proceedings, she noted. On 3 October 2022, the Russian Federation filed preliminary objections to the Court’s jurisdiction and the Application’s admissibility. The proceedings on the merits are now suspended, pending the Court’s decision on the Russian Federation’s preliminary objections. Ukraine has until 3 February 2023 to present a written statement and its submissions.
Regarding current activities, the Court is deliberating on the merits in two cases: Dispute over the Status and Use of the Waters of the Silala (Chile v. Bolivia) and Certain Iranian Assets (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America). In the coming weeks, the Court will hold a hearing on the merits of the case concerning Question of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf between Nicaragua and Colombia beyond 200 nautical miles from the Nicaraguan Coast (Nicaragua v. Colombia) as well as a hearing on preliminary objections to admissibility in the case concerning Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela). She went on to say that since 1 June 2022, the Court has returned to in-person working methods for its public hearings and private meetings.
In light of the interest in certain pending cases and the number of declarations of intervention filed by States, she provided an overview of the provisions which govern intervention at the Court. She also updated the Assembly on the Trust Fund for the Court’s Judicial Fellowship Programme which provides financial support for recent law graduates from developing countries to become Judicial Fellows. For the 2022‑2023 cohort, the Fund sponsored three of the 15 fellows, she noted. Interest in the fellowship programme as a whole has significantly increased, she added. The number of institutions that proposed to fund their candidates grew to 35 and 71 additional institutions submitted candidates for funding from the Trust Fund.
On the planned renovation of the Peace Palace, she said the Netherlands has indicated there will be a preparatory investigation and a thorough asbestos survey in the summer of 2023. Consultations with the Court on locating the areas where asbestos is present and taking appropriate action will then follow. Any envisaged measures should guarantee a safe working environment and ensure the continuity of its judicial business, she emphasized.
FRANK HOFFMEISTER, representative of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, recalled that in June, the bloc and its member States adopted a declaration on upholding and promoting respect for international law, including the principles of the United Nations Charter. Among other things, it reaffirmed the bloc’s strong commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the Charter and the Court’s preeminent role. He noted that while the European Union cannot refer a case to the Court, whose jurisdiction is reserved to States, it may participate in Court proceedings in other ways — for instance, by submitting, at the Court’s invitation, observations in contentious cases where the construction of a convention to which the bloc is a party to is in question. The bloc may also submit observations in advisory proceedings, as it did with regard to the advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, he said.
The European Union takes the Court’s rulings into consideration when making policy decisions, he continued. In fact, as the Court of Justice of the European Union has made clear, when the bloc adopts legislation, it is bound to observe international law in its entirety. That Court also relies on the judgements of the International Court of Justice when discussing customary international law, applying the law of treaties or when using international law to interpret and develop principles of European Union laws. He went on to say that the Court’s ability to settle disputes can only be effective if the parties to a dispute ensure the immediate and full implementation of its rulings. “Selective implementation of binding and final international judgments is a setback to the rule of law,” he said, urging all States which submit their disputes to international adjudication to comply with the Court’s judgments and with any order on provisional measures. The European Council recently underlined this obligation in the context of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, he emphasized.
MICHAL MLYNÁR (Slovakia), speaking on behalf of the Visegrad Group namely Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and his own country, reiterated the indispensable role of the Court in the peaceful settlement of disputes between States. The proceedings before the Court involve a wide range of complex issues, including territorial and maritime delimitation, human rights, reparation for internationally wrongful acts, environmental protection, the jurisdictional immunities of States and the interpretation and application of international treaties and conventions concerning, among other things, diplomatic relations, the prevention of genocide and the suppression of the financing of terrorism. The increasing number of new cases clearly demonstrates the confidence of States in the Court’s adjudication, he said.
Turning to the legally binding nature of the Court orders on provisional measures, he said the willingness of States to subject their disputes to the Court's jurisdiction must go hand in hand with their readiness to implement the Court's decisions in good faith. He underscored the Court’s decision made on 16 March on the provisional measures in the case of Ukraine versus the Russian Federation, concerning allegations of genocide. Under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, provisional measures are legally binding, he stressed. Therefore, the Russian Federation's failure to comply with them is blatant proof of its disrespect for law and international institutions.
RYTIS PAULAUSKAS (Lithuania), speaking for the Baltic States, associated himself with the European Union and noted that the role of the Court can be reinforced by widening the application of its jurisdiction. In this regard, he spotlighted the need to enhance the further universal acceptance of the jurisdiction of the Court. He pointed out that besides reminding of the legal obligation of all States involved in a dispute before the Court to completely and unconditionally implement final rulings and any provisional measures, the international community needs to find means to ensure execution of its decisions. Turning to the report, he spotlighted that it illustrates the confidence of the States making recourse and that the Court with its universal character and unique mandate is a pillar of the rules-based international order and plays a vital role in the peaceful settlement of disputes.
Spotlighting that the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine very poignantly demonstrated the need for the Court to deliver on its mandate, he expressed confidence that the Court will continue to successfully perform its crucial role. In this regard, he touched upon the pending case of Ukraine v. Russian Federation under the Genocide Convention, where Ukraine seeks to establish that the Russian Federation has no lawful basis for the ongoing, unprovoked and brutal military invasion on the grounds of unsubstantiated allegations of genocide. Commending the Court for initiating speedy proceedings and swift issuing of an order on provisional measures, he strongly urged the Russian Federation to comply with it.
Mr. WILLIAMS (New Zealand), speaking also on behalf of Canada and Australia, said his delegation has always been a strong supporter of the rule of law, which is the foundation of an international rules-based order. The peaceful settlement of disputes is essential to peace and security. He noted that the Court’s caseload has grown as it expands its reach geographically among States and includes a wider expression of legal subjects. This illustrates it is an important mechanism for States to resolve disagreements peacefully as well as shows States’ confidence in the Court and the rigor of its proceedings. The Court’s role in developing international law is more important than ever. He urged States to consider wider acceptance of the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court, which will let it fulfil its role more effectively and move through cases more quickly. The timely settlement of international disputes is in the interests of all Parties. This reinforces a judicial system of benefit to all Member States. He supported the Court’s Trust Fund for the Judicial Fellowship Programme. The authority of the Court and the quality of its judgements are enriched by its diversity, he said, welcoming that the Court’s gender balance is growing.
MARIE JACOBSSON (Sweden), also speaking on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway, said that in the last two months, an unprecedented number of declarations of interventions have been filed with the Court in the case between Ukraine and the Russian Federation concerning Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. As that case concerns the interpretation of obligations contained in the Genocide Convention, all States parties to the Convention have a direct interest in the dispute, she said, noting that many States parties have decided to use their right under Article 63 of the Statute of the Court to intervene in the proceedings. “These interventions offer an ample reflection of the importance of the Court as an institution for the promotion and protection of an international system based on the rule of law,” she said.
Reiterating the need to strive for a better gender balance in the Court, she said that the upcoming election on 4 November gives rise to reflection on shared efforts to achieve equal representation of women and men in the Court. She encouraged all States to continue to work actively towards that goal during the preparation of the next regular election in 2023 so that real change can take place. She went on to reaffirm the Nordic countries’ ongoing support for the Court and called upon those States which have not yet done so to consider accepting the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction.
TOFIG MUSAYEV (Azerbaijan), speaking for the Non‑Aligned Movement, recalled that in 2019 the Heads of State of Government of the Movement agreed to work toward further achieving full respect for international law. Noting that the Security Council has not sought any advisory opinion from the Court since 1970, he urged the Council to make greater use of the Court as a source of advisory opinions and interpretation of international law. He also recalled that in 2019 the Ministers of the Movement decided to encourage those in a position to do so to make greater use of the Court and to consider conducting consultations among the Movement’s members to request advisory opinions of the Court. In this regard, he referred to cases, when unilateral coercive measures that are not authorized by relevant organs of the United Nations and are inconsistent with the principles of international law or the Charter may undermine international peace and security.
He reaffirmed the importance of the relevant Court’s advisory opinion on the Legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons, in which it unanimously concluded the existence of an obligation to pursue in good faith, and bring to a conclusion, negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all aspects under strict and effective international control. Finally, he reiterated a call on Israel, as the occupying Power, to fully respect the relevant advisory opinion of the Court on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
JOÃO IAMBENO GIMOLIECA (Angola), speaking on behalf of the Community of Portuguese‑Speaking Countries, said the Court’s growing caseload attests to its importance to the international community. All Member States are parties to the Statute of the Court, he said, adding dialogue between the General Assembly, the Security Council, and the Court in the interpretation of the United Nations Charter is of utmost importance. He welcomed the Court’s efforts to ensure that its decisions are widely publicized, including through social media. “The high rate of compliance with the Court´s judgments throughout its history is very encouraging, as it demonstrates the respect and trust of States in the independence, credibility, and impartiality of the World Court,” he said.
The Court’s judgments and advisory opinions are inspiring other international decision‑making bodies and he commended the Court for similarly paying due regard to the work of other international courts and tribunals. Going forward, the Community strongly supports the Court in playing a fundamental role in settling disputes between States, as well as in strengthening the international rule of law towards justice and peace, taking into consideration the situation of people and individuals. He went on to pay tribute to Judge António Augusto Trindade Cançado, noting his profound legacy in the fields of international law and human rights.
ODO TEVI (Vanuatu), speaking on behalf of a core group of States on the Court’s advisory opinion on climate change, said that while the impact of climate change on small island developing States is particularly acute, it is not limited to them, as seen in the past year with destructive floods in Costa Rica and Pakistan, deadly heatwaves in Europe and worsening drought and food insecurity in Africa. Humanity must “leave no stone unturned in its effort to address the climate crisis”, he said, adding that it is in this context that the Core Group is seeking an advisory opinion from the Court to clarify the rights and obligations of States under international law as it pertains to the adverse effects of climate change. The General Assembly and Member States would benefit from such authoritative advice on the legal implications of climate change encompassing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and related agreements as well as a wider body of norms from both treaty and customary international law relevant to climate change, he explained.
Elaborating, he said that an advisory opinion could, among other things, clarify the rights and obligations of States vis‑à‑vis the adverse impacts of climate change on small island developing States and other climate vulnerable States. It would encourage States to reflect on their highest possible levels of ambition, in keeping with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and their respective capabilities, as they prepare their nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement. It would also clarify due diligence requirements for emitters of greenhouse gases and clarify the implications of climate change for the human rights of present and future generations. He concluded by saying that the Core Group will finalize a draft resolution on this topic in the coming weeks, with informal consultations to be undertaken before it is tabled in the Assembly. “The world is at a crossroads and we, as world leaders, have an obligation to take action that preserves and protects the planet for future generations,” he stressed.
FATUMANAVA-O-UPOLU III PA'OLELEI LUTERU (Samoa), speaking for the Pacific Small Island Developing States, noted that the world is witnessing an unprecedented and unparallel changes in the climate system, which will have long‑lasting effects if the current trends in greenhouse gas emissions are not reversed. “The science is clear and irrefutable”, he said, underscoring that climate change is the urgent global call to action. He pointed out that the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is now considered a universal right. “This is about climate justice and a human right issue that affects current and future generations,” he stressed. He also underscored that the financial burden for loss and damage falls almost entirely on the affected nations, and not on those most responsible for the adverse effects. In this regard, seeking an advisory opinion to clarify the rights and obligations of States under international law pertaining to climate change is “morally the right thing to do”.
He pointed out that the advisory opinion will also assist the future work of the General Assembly and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He emphasized, that these actions are not a “litigation exercise” on any country, and rather is a process for seeking clarifications under the existing relevant treaties. In this regard, he encouraged robust, frank and open exchanges and sharing of ideas, including the informal process. “As members of the global community, affected by climate change in one way or another, let us move forward together in line with the principle of climate justice and human rights,” he stressed.
STEFANO ZANINI (Italy), noting that Italy is party to a case now pending before the Court, said that it has also filed a declaration of intervention in Ukraine’s case against the Russian Federation concerning allegations of genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In that regard, he thanked the Court for the rigour and the extreme care with which it is conducting its proceedings. Recalling that the Court’s orders on provisional measures are legally binding on Parties to a dispute, he said that the Russian Federation must, inter alia, immediately suspend its military operations in Ukraine, as the Court ordered on 16 March. Italy has recognized the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court since 2014 and it encourages other States which have not yet done so to follow suit, he added.
CARLA MARIA RODRÍGUEZ MANCIA (Guatemala) said the Court’s growing volume of work highlights the confidence States have in its ability to impartially resolve disputes. The Court’s decisions, advisory opinions and contributions are essential for States’ peaceful coexistence, they contribute to judicial certainty and strengthen the rule of law internationally. She spotlighted her country’s territorial, insular and maritime dispute with Belize and the decision of the Court to adjudicate the issue. A resolution will bring economic, social and political benefits to both countries, strengthen the relationship between them and demonstrate to the world that Guatemala and Belize are responsible countries and promoters of peace. Regarding the Court’s liquidity issues, financial challenges and cross-cutting measures, she called on all countries to abide by their financial obligations.
GEORGE RODRIGO BANDEIRA GALINDO (Brazil) paid tribute to the Judge Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade, adding that while still mourning his passing, the Government of Brazil supports the candidature of Leonardo Brant to complete his term. Hopefully, on 4 November, the General Assembly and the Security Council will allow a Brazilian judge to finish the late judge’s term, as has been the Court’s practice. The Court’s ability to adapt its proceedings to the COVID‑19 pandemic was remarkable, and lessons learned — including greater use of videoconferencing technology, hybrid meetings and data processing services — should not be forgotten. He went on to commend the Court for promoting geographic and linguistic diversity among legal practitioners taking part in its Judicial Fellowship Programme.
ANDRÉS EFREN MONTALVO SOSA (Ecuador) said that the peaceful settlement of disputes between States is an essential element for promoting the validity of rule of law in the international system. Since its creation in 1946, the Court has played a fundamental role in the peaceful settlement of disputes and in the development of international law. The increase in the workload of the Court is a sign of the authority that States from various legal traditions have entrusted to it. Amongst the disputes before the Court, there are cases including allegations of violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as well as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. “I'm certain that the international community will be paying particular attention to this in light of the gravity of the allegations,” he said.
JIA GUIDE (China) said that since its inception in 1945, the Court has made 140 judgements and 28 advisory opinions on a range of important issues. It has made outstanding contributions to the interpretation, application and development of international law, which has helped maintain international peace and security. Noting that the Court has gained the growing trust of the international community, he said the Court’s traditional activities bear on the countries concerned and have a far‑reaching impact on the development of international law. He hoped the Court will faithfully perform its duties within the Charter, the Court’s statute and with respect for States’ sovereignty as it carries out high‑quality judicial activities. He is pleased that the Court also is committed to promote the dissemination of international law through the Judicial Fellowship Programme. This programme allows young jurists, including those from China, to engage in the work of Court. The programme can also help enhance the Court’s diversity and help young people from developing countries gain a better understanding of international law. Noting the challenges to multilateralism in these turbulent times, he said China supports the Court as it carries out its work.
PIET HEIRBAUT (Belgium), associating himself with the European Union, encouraged the States to recognize the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction. He also called on the countries and international organizations to continue including provisions that recognize the competence of the Court to rule on disputes in the future multilateral treaties and refrain from issuing reservations. Recognizing the representation in the Court of different legal systems, languages and cultures, he highlighted their contribution to the quality and the weight of its decisions. But he expressed concern that certain States believe that they are above the Court’s judgement. “Every decision that is not respected and executed constitutes a direct attack on the system established by the Charter,” he warned. Recalling the relevant competencies for cooperating with the Court, he pointed out its ability to take measures or enforce its decisions in certain cases. “This prerogative is all the more important when non‑compliance with the Court’s decisions could undermine international peace and security,” he said.
NOEMÍ RUTH ESPINOZA MADRID (Honduras) underscored that her country has not only been subject to the rules of the Court but has also resorted to its mechanisms for the peaceful settlement of disputes with other States. She reiterated support for the Court’s efforts to maintain effectiveness in its decisions to resolve international disputes and issue advisory opinions, despite the increase in workload that has been documented in the last 20 years. “Humanity is traversing a complex and interconnected crisis,” she noted, pointing to the COVID‑19 pandemic and threats to the global economy. Highlighting the efforts of the United Nations, in particular the Secretariat and the Court, to implement required budget cuts and limitations, she said that Honduras supports adoption of the proposed 2023 budget for the Court so that it can carry out is judicial functions. She also welcomed and supported the Annual Judicial Fellowship Programme, which allows interested universities to appoint and sponsor recent law graduates to continue their training in a professional environment at the Court.
RICHARD VISEK (United States) recognized the Court’s contributions to the realization of the United Nations’ purposes and principles, in particular, regarding the peaceful settlement of disputes. Those core principles were tested, however, when the Russian Federation engaged in a war of aggression, violating another Member State’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence. Referring to the Ukraine vs. Russian Federation case on allegations of genocide, he called on the Russian Federation to comply with the Court’s 16 March order on provisional measures and suspend its military operations in and against Ukraine. Only five female judges have been elected to the Court in its history. Member States should work to address this disparity going forward.
BURHAN GAFOOR (Singapore), associating with the statement of Vanuatu, said he was heartened to note the Court’s continued review of its procedures and working methods, and its investment in information and communications technology equipment. It was vital for its Members and staff to have a safe working environment. If temporary relocation is necessary, interim arrangements should allow the Court to carry out its judicial functions unimpeded, in a venue befitting its status as the World Court. The Court’s Judicial Fellowship Programme’s trust fund supports access to nationals of developing countries and promotes greater geographic and linguistic diversity. The increase in applications shows the interest in the Programme’s opportunities. A Court advisory opinion on climate change affecting small island developing States and other developing countries is an important step in global efforts to address the adverse effects of climate change.
ALINA OROSAN (Romania), guided by its confidence in the Court, Romania has filed a declaration of intervention under Article 63 of the Statute in the proceedings initiated by Ukraine against the Russian Federation concerning allegations of genocide. “We are of the opinion that this case will offer the Court the opportunity to restore the trust of the international community in the supremacy of law.” Emphasizing that States are legally bound to comply with the Court’s orders, she urged the Russian Federation to reverse its breaches of international law, including the purported annexation of Ukrainian territory. She encouraged those Member States which have not yet done so to endorse the declaration on promoting the Court’s jurisdiction, which Romania launched on 3 November 2021.
JUAN GÓMEZ ROBLEDO VERDUZCO (Mexico), in underlining the Court’s invaluable contributions to the interpretation and development of international law, said the four cases involving Latin American countries reflected the region’s confidence in that body’s ability to peacefully settle disputes. As the vast majority of its judgements and orders are carried out by parties, the Court is the United Nations’ most effective organ. The Secretary‑General should have the permanent authorization to request advisory opinions from the Court without the Assembly’s approval, as this would contribute to preventative diplomacy and could even avert the escalation of conflicts. He highlighted the Secretary‑General’s efforts to facilitate the implementation of judgements and called for the revitalization of the Trust Fund to Assist States in the Settlement of Disputes through the Court. International law is the common language for States to limit the effects of hostility and seek a path to overcome disputes through peaceful means.
JAIME HERMIDA CASTILLO (Nicaragua), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the range of cases brought before the Court remained diverse. A significant number are linked to territorial and maritime delimitations. Nicaragua recognizes that some of these processes require technical and scientific means to defend the judges’ decisions, he said, highlighting the importance of coordinating with host countries. Turning to the Court’s ruling on the territorial maritime disputes in the Caribbean Sea, he recalled that the Court ordered Colombia to cease its activities. Nicaragua has “always faithfully” abided by its international obligations and hopes to enjoy reciprocity in that regard. Nicaragua also calls for an increase in the voluntary contributions to the trust fund to assist States in settlement of disputes.
TANIA FREIIN VON USLAR-GLEICHEN (Germany) said the Court was of fundamental importance for the rules-based international order with international law at its core, as illustrated by the increasing number of cases before it. The Court’s jurisdiction is based on the principle of consent, and she called on all States to accept its jurisdiction, as Germany had done in 2008. Conversely, without consent, parties cannot be subjected to its jurisdiction. A deviation from this principle would gravely endanger acceptance of the Court’s role and effectiveness. The Court can only be an effective guardian of the international legal order if its rulings are respected and implemented. Regarding the case of Ukraine vs. Russian Federation concerning allegations of genocide, she stressed that the Court’s provisional measures are legally binding on all parties to a dispute, and that the Russian Federation is under a legal obligation to immediately suspend its military operations.
PEREIRA SOSA (Paraguay) said he gave great importance to the Court, as the Organization’s the main judicial organ, and commends its contribution to international law as it carries out its functions to the highest standards. The Court’ caseload is expanding geographically and in the range of topics. The high volume of cases shows its validity as an international Court upholding the rule of law. His delegation attaches great importance to the peaceful settlement of disputes and values the jurisprudence and rulings of the Court as they are used as guidance for the interpretation of international law, he said, stressing that a rules‑based system is necessary to uphold peace and security around the world and calling on all States that have not done so to accept the Court’s jurisdiction. As it is fundamental to remember the ultimate beneficiaries of international law are the people, States should settle international disputes through peaceful means and refrain from aggression. He urged the Court to continue the publication of its work in written and digital forms and to use all the official United Nations languages.
HARIS CHRYSOSTOMOU (Cyprus), aligning himself with the European Union, said the contribution of the Court’s jurisprudence on the protection of the Charter’s principles, especially regarding the development of the concept of the crime of aggression and the prohibition of the use of force, cannot be overstated. He noted that the Court has been seized with several maritime delimitation disputes. These are governed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which forms customary international law. As President Donoghue noted recently in her speech for the Convention’s fortieth anniversary, jurisprudence plays an important role in identifying and solidifying the rules that apply, not only to States parties, but also to non-State parties. His delegation is ready to negotiate with any relevant country to reach a peaceful settlement in good faith of any maritime dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean, fully respecting international law, including the settling of any such dispute before the Court.
ZHA-HYOUNG RHEE, Director‑General for International Legal Affairs, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea, noted the Court’s successful performance during the period under review, despite the uncertain situation it faced with the pandemic. Since earlier this year, the international community has been faced with a serious challenge to the fundamental principle of the prohibition of the use of force. The principle is enshrined in Article 2.4 of the Charter and has the status of jus cogens. States must resolve their disputes by peaceful means and refrain from resorting to force. “In this vein, the role of the ICJ is more important than ever,” he said, reiterating that the provisional measures ordered by the Court are binding upon the concerned parties. The increasing diversity of cases brought to the Court is a positive indicator that the principle of the peaceful settlement of disputes is expanding to all aspects of international relations.
Ms. SILVA WALKER (Cuba), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement, noted that the refusal of certain States to recognize the Court’s rulings presents an obstacle for the Organization’s enforcement of that body’s decisions. In this regard, the Court should provide a critical assessment which examines its relationship with other organs, especially the Security Council. Reforms of the Organization to provide developing countries with greater guarantees against more powerful countries must also extend to the Court, she added before spotlighting the impact of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba. She then called on States to fully respect the Court’s provisions in its 8 July 1996 advisory opinion on the "legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons" and its 9 July 2004 advisory opinion on the "legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory". She urged States to provide the Court with the necessary resources to conduct its work.
Ms. CICERON BUHLER (Switzerland) said that the Court’s cases are very diverse and of vital importance. The Court has recently demonstrated its ability to be flexible, allowing for hybrid hearings to take place in various cases that it heard this year. In order to increase the Court’s authority, Switzerland encourages all States that have not yet done so to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Court. “It is our duty pursuant to the United Nations Charter to preserve future generations from the scourge of war,” she stressed, also adding: “We need to do our utmost in order to achieve this result.” Switzerland believes that the decisions of the Court are not recommendations. In contrast, they're legally binding. “We could only appeal to the strengthening of cooperation between the Court and the Security Council,” she said, adding that strengthening that relationship has the potential to benefit international peace and security.
Mr. COLAS (France) said the report shows the Court’s important role in reaching peaceful settlements of disputes among States, noting that the Court has seen an increase in litigation over recent decades. France is committed to the Court, whose contribution to the peaceful settlement of differences is essential for international peace and security, he said, noting the suit filed with the Court this year by Ukraine against the Russian Federation. He noted that States are bound to accept rules and measures that the Court hands down. At stake is the rules‑based international order. The Court’s advisory opinions provide valuable legal guidance. Different languages and cultures in the Court contribute to its jurisprudence, he said, stressing the importance of the use of both French and English.
Ms. CECEROS (Chile), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the Court’s work is a strong reflection of the trust of States’ which voluntarily submits to that body. To strengthen its competence, the Court must ensure that States are fully aware of its impartiality and independence. In spotlighting her country’s case against Bolivia, she commended the Court for ensuring that the average time between the conclusion of proceedings and the issuance of rulings and advisory opinions did not extend beyond six months despite the increased complexity of cases. She then reiterated her country’s full and total compliance with the Court’s decisions. Turning to the fellowship programme, she highlighted the Trust Fund and encouraged the continued selection of fellows from developing countries to guarantee geographic and linguistic diversity.
AHMED ABDELAZIZ AHMED ELGHARIB (Egypt), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said that the Court remains a forum for all those who wish to resort to it and welcomed the diverse geographical representation of cases being considered by the tribunal. Referring matters to the Court remains voluntary to all the parties, he added, noting the launch of the Court’s Judicial Fellowship Programme, which he said aims to provide financing to the legal personnel of developing nations. “This way we spread international law and increase its understanding and train the necessary judicial personnel,” he continued, reiterating calls on the international community to intensify efforts to help enhance the legal expertise of developing nations. In 1957, Egypt declared its compliance with the compulsory competence of the Court relating to the Suez Canal and the arraignment of its operations, he recalled, also welcoming various advisory opinions of the Court.
SYED MOHAMAD HASRIN AIDID (Malaysia), aligning himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said the Court’s high level of activity shows the confidence placed in it. His delegation is an avid supporter of the Court and demonstrated this in relation to two cases of sovereignty that were submitted to the Court, he said, adding that its advisory opinions are useful to clarify and develop international law, promote peaceful co‑existence among Member States, and carry strong legal guidance and moral authority. Referring to the 1966 advisory opinion on whether the threat of nuclear weapons is permitted under international law, he noted that for the first time in history, the Court laid out that the threat or use of nuclear weapons is generally contrary to the rules of international law, including humanitarian law. He called for the organs of United Nations, especially the Security Council, to take guidance from the Court’s advisory opinions.
MYRIAM OEHRI (Liechtenstein), noting that nearly two‑thirds of Member States have yet to accept the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction, called for all States to do so. Moreover, all States aspiring to serve on the Security Council should lead by example by accepting compulsory jurisdiction. Emphasizing The Gambia v. Myanmar and Ukraine v. Russian Federation cases, she recalled that the Court’s provisional orders are legally binding. Liechtenstein is encouraged that States are increasingly requesting advisory opinions from the Court, he said, adding that it is in that vein that it is actively engaged in the Vanuatu‑led initiative for an advisory opinion on climate change.
OLIVIER MAES (Luxembourg), aligning himself with the European Union, attributed the growing number of cases to the Court’s universality and vital role in promoting the rule of law. Broader acceptance of the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction will allow it to more effectively fulfil its mandate by moving beyond questions of competence to matters of substance. He then aligned himself with Romania on promoting the recognition of the Court’s jurisdiction. Turning to the Court’s order on the immediate suspension of the Russian Federation’s military operations in Ukraine, he said that the number of requests for intervention are a testament to the importance of accountability, respect for international law and the principle of good faith. While the Court’s contributions to the development of international law are undeniable, the judicial settlement of disputes can only occur if parties ensure swift and complete implementation. States ‑ especially those with disputes before the Court ‑ must abide by the Court’s decisions and orders, he stressed.
MARITZA CHAN VALVERDE (Costa Rica) said that supporting the Court means supporting peace as a fundamental human right. “Our support is not gratuitous”, she continued, adding: “It stems from an interest in seeking the best for coexistence between nations.” Costa Rica recognizes that the work of the Court brings legal clarity to the norms of international law. Costa Rica supports Vanuatu’s initiative to request an advisory opinion from the Court on climate change. “The advisory opinion in this case would have a decisive impact on the future of human life on this planet,” she said, also warning that “without a human rights-based approach, it will not be possible to achieve climate justice”. Such action is critical in Costa Rica’s case as it is located in one of the most biodiverse regions of the world. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), about 60 per cent of the world's terrestrial and aquatic life is found in its region. She also emphasized the importance of ensuring access to judicial processes in languages other than French and English in order to improve all lives.
Ms. AAGTEN (Netherlands), Legal Adviser of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said as long as universal acceptance of the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction is pending, his delegation recognizes the importance of compromissory clauses in any treaty to provide for the Court’s jurisdiction. These clauses, however, may limit the jurisdiction to such an extent as to force the Court to declare itself without jurisdiction when a legal dispute is complex. Or it may force it to consider only part of a dispute. His delegation believed these situations should be avoided. He noted the report’s reference to the issues facing the Court’s Peace Palace in The Hague. As the host country to the Court, his delegation’s first priority is to ensure the Court’s safe and effective functioning, which includes a safe working environment for all staff members.
Mr. MARTINSEN (Argentina) said considerable increase in the Court’s workload shows its expanding value as a trusted institution. It works efficiently and most of its rulings are observed by the involved parties, a sign of States’ confidence in the Court. This encourages other States to bring cases to its attention. The principle of rotation among Court personnel and judges is important to ensure that positions do not fall to a small number of States, he stressed. He noted that 6 of the 16 cases now before the Court include Spanish-speaking countries. Yet in the last eight years, the Court has not had a Spanish‑speaking judge among its members. This could be resolved quickly. Noting that recent cases involve human rights and protection of the environment, he expressed hopes that this diversity of topics would continue.
MICHAEL IMRAN KANU (Sierra Leone), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement and the core group of States on the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on Climate Change, said that the wide range of cases submitted to the Court, including on territorial and maritime delimitation, human rights, reparations, environmental protection, jurisdictional immunity and treaty interpretations, illustrated the universal and general character of the Court’s jurisdiction. The Court was ripe to have authoritative views on legal questions on climate change, as it poses an existential threat to the most vulnerable, particularly small island and coastal developing States, such as Sierra Leone. In that vein, Sierra Leone as part of the Core Group, tabled a draft resolution on requesting the Court’s Advisory Opinion on Climate Change. He voiced its appreciation for the Judicial Fellowship Programme and its stated aim to guarantee participants’ geographic and linguistic diversity through the grant to nationals of developing countries.
KYAW MOE TUN (Myanmar) said the Court President mentioned in her statement the Court’s 22 July judgement on the preliminary objections in the case concerning “Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar)”. The judgment sweeps aside the illegal military junta’s spurious objections, clears the way for substantive hearings on the atrocities directed against the Rohingya during military operations in 2016 and 2017. On 10 February, the National Unity Government of Myanmar, as the proper representative of Myanmar in the case, communicated to the Court that it accepted the Court’s jurisdiction and withdrew all preliminary objections. Accountability and reparations for the Rohingya must remain the driving imperative, he said. His delegation will continue to extend its full cooperation to the Court in this case and has informed the International Criminal Court of the acceptance of its jurisdiction over the territory of Myanmar in accordance with Article 12 (3) of the Rome Statute.
Mr. PASICHNYK (Ukraine) provided an overview of the progress and recent developments concerning his country’s two cases against the Russian Federation before the Court. On 19 April 2017, the Court ordered the Russian Federation to refrain from maintaining or imposing limitations on the ability of the Crimean Tatar community to preserve its representative institutions and ensure the availability of education in the Ukrainian language, among other actions. Similarly, on 16 March 2022, the Court ordered the Russian Federation to immediately suspend its military operations and ensure that any military or irregular armed units as well as any organizations and persons subject to that country’s direction do not further said operations. In expressing his gratitude to the 22 States which have filed interventions on his country’s case, he called on States which believe in the rule of law and are parties to the Genocide Convention to consider intervening as well. When the Russian Federation finally complies with the Court’s orders, the international community will move one step close towards peace, equality and a rules‑based order, he said.
MONWAR HOSSAIN (Bangladesh), associating himself with the Core Group of States seeking the Court’s advisory opinion on climate change, reaffirmed the universal character of the Court’s jurisdiction. As a nation with “unequivocal” commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes, including through recourse to international law, Bangladesh immensely values the Court’s judgments and orders. Turning to the situation in his region, he recalled that the Court earlier this year recognized that the Rohingya are a protected group within the meaning of Article 2 of the Genocide Convention. The Court also acknowledged the presence of real and imminent risk of “irreparable prejudice” to the rights of the Rohingya in Myanmar. “We call for the compliance of this order in its letter and spirit,” he said. More recently, the Court rejected the preliminary objections raised by Myanmar. As an affected country that has been hosting the persecuted Rohingya for decades, Bangladesh welcomes the orders of the Court, he added.
DECLAN SMYTH (Ireland) said that acceptance of the Court’s jurisdiction as compulsory aligns with the Irish constitutional commitment to peaceful settlement of international disputes by international courts and tribunals. The Court’s busy docket was a clear acknowledgment of the international community’s confidence in its integrity, independence, and expertise. Member States are required under the Charter’s Article 94 to comply with the Court’s decisions to which they are a party, including any provisional measure. The Court’s advisory opinions provide authoritative guidance on the interpretation and application of international law. He advocates for greater cooperation between the Court and other United Nations organs, in particular the Security Council. The range of tools available to the Council to peacefully settle international disputes were underutilized, including those offered by the Court. In times of increasing conflicts, the Council should avail itself of these tools to prevent and resolve disputes.
ALESSANDRA FALCONI (Peru) said the report lays out the Court’s fundamental role as the Organization’s main judicial organ in the peaceful settlement of disputes. The Court is essential for a rules‑based system, she said, appreciating the high level of work evident in the Court’s rulings, which cover everything from maritime law to humanitarian law and have a wide geographic range. Over the last 20 years, nearly one‑quarter of the Court’s cases have been centred in Latin America and Caribbean, which shows the Court’s crucial work in the region. By handing down independent and impartial rulings, the Court promotes friendly relations among nations. There is a need to abide by its rulings and decisions and she asked all States that have not done so, to recognize the Court’s jurisdictions. She said the creation of the Trust Fund for the Judicial Fellowship helps candidates from developing countries obtain training in international law and develop their legal professions. She asked that publications be made in all six official languages to meet the Court’s widening scope of work.
ZAHRA ERSHADI (Iran), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said the Court played a prominent role in fostering sound administration of justice and the peaceful settlement of inter-State disputes. Its cornerstone was its consensual basis. Evidencing Iran’s commitment to legal-judicial diplomacy, it filed two contentious cases before the Court. First, United States’ measures removed jurisdiction immunity against Iran and Iranian entities, undermining State-owned companies’ separate judicial status. The case was under deliberation. Second, after the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and its unilateral coercive measures, Iran filed a case regarding that country’s Treaty of Amity’s violations and requested the Court to indicate provisional measures. Regrettably, the United States failed to comply with the Court’s Order to ensure foodstuffs, agricultural commodities, medicines and medical devices not subjected to restrictions. Despite the United States’ objections, the Court held that it had jurisdiction. The United States filed its Counter-Memorial and Iran’s Reply should be filed shortly.
HAMAMOTO YUKIYA (Japan) said it is more necessary than ever to peacefully settle disputes. This is the Court’s main role and it cannot be achieved unless parties to a dispute abide by the Court’s judgments and orders on provisional measures. These are legally binding decisions to which parties to a dispute must comply. He recalled the Court’s order regarding the provisional measures issued on 16 March, in connection with the case brought by Ukraine against the Russian Federation. Japan supports this order and strongly demands that the Russian Federation comply with it. Acceptance of the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction by the widest possible number of States enables it to most effectively fulfil its role. Japan again calls on all Member States that have not yet accepted the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction for the settlement of disputes not covered by other relevant dispute settlement mechanisms to consider doing so.
ANDRIS STASTOLI (Albania) called on the Russian Federation to abide by the Court’s preliminary measures, retreat from Ukraine and honour its international obligations. The international community must successfully pass this serious test of the rules-based order for it to not drift into a lawless world, he warned. In referencing Assembly resolution 76/117 of 9 December 2021 which called on States to accept the Court’s jurisdiction, he noted that the wide range of cases before the Court demonstrate its use by States. This also reflects the need for a strong world court, he added while welcoming the establishment of the Trust Fund to train the next generation of jurors as the guardians of international law. The international community must ensure a well-governed world where law and courts — not might and force — determine disputes, where impunity becomes history and where equal rights reign supreme. To that end, there must be enhanced cooperation between the Assembly and the Court, he stressed.
MOHAMMED ALI AHMED AL SHEHHI (Oman), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the Court for decades has proven itself capable of carrying out its mandate. “It earned the trust of States”, he added, emphasizing that the Court’s judgments also reinforced the primacy of law. Oman supports international law, international courts of justice and other international courts in accordance with their competencies to settle differences between States and in accordance with the United Nations Charter. Settling differences in a peaceful spirit and a spirit of tolerance will allow the world to arrive at ideal solutions, ones that are more sustainable, he said. Oman supports rule of law and international and regional instruments as the basis for relations among States. The Court plays a critical role in facilitating the peaceful resolution of the disputes in accordance with the principles of the United Nations, he added.
ARRMANATHA CHRISTIAWAN NASIR (Indonesia), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said he was encouraged to see the Court’s high level of activity, which demonstrates its vigour. The geographic diversity of its cases shows the confidence States hold in the Court. The world today is in a troubled state and there are many violations of international law as well as ignorance of it. The Court works hard to find peaceful solutions, which must be the only way to settle disputes, he said. Stressing that the Court plays an important role, he said it must defend its judicial independence and certainty. He welcomed the Courts’ efforts to promote a greater understanding of international law, particularly among young people. He encouraged the Court to promote its work through direct messaging, workshops and publications. He also supported the Trust Fund which would help developing countries develop their legal systems.
Mr. ALAJEELI (United Arab Emirates), in highlighting the Court’s role in peace and security, said that body allows States to access international justice and defend their rights and interests in accordance with international law. The United Nations and Security Council must increase their cooperation with the Court, he encouraged. Regarding the Court’s working methods, he commended its flexibility and rapidity in responding to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Such changes had an impact on the Court’s general functioning, encouraged the better utilization of technology and increased access to justice, he noted. The Court should continue to modify its current procedures and strengthen its capacity to function during crises. He also urged the Court to increase multilingualism in its work. The administrative burdens imposed by the inclusion of additional languages is minimal when weighed against the benefits of clear and precise communication with all stakeholders on matters of international importance, he pointed out.
XOLISA MFUNDISO MABHONGO (South Africa) said that the report confirms a positive trend that has been developing over recent decades, namely that there is a greater willingness on the part of States to refer disputes to the Court. During the period under review, the Court delivered judgements on merits in three cases, a judgment on preliminary objections in one case as well as delivering 15 orders, while it was seized with four new contentious cases, bringing the total number of cases entered onto the Court’s General List to 15. It is “heartening” to see the geographical spread of cases. The management of the Court deserves praise for the way in which its working methods have adapted to the new reality of the COVID‑19 pandemic. He further welcomed that the budget proposed by the Court for 2023 had decreased, adding that it is a time “when more must be done with less”.
DANG HOANG GIANG (Viet Nam), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement and Vanuatu on behalf of the Core Group of States working on a draft resolution with a view to requesting an advisory opinion of the Court on climate change, said that the geographical spread of the cases brought before the Court illustrate the universal character of the Court’s jurisdiction. A pressing challenge for the entire international community, climate change particularly poses an existential threat to many low‑lying nations, and small island countries as well as coastal areas of many countries. “We see it everywhere,” he said, stressing that more ambitious and urgent action is needed. This includes seeking an advisory opinion of the Court’s clarifying States’ obligations under various treaties. Such a move will help shed light on unresolved legal aspects regarding climate change. It will also reinforce collective efforts to combat climate change and will further strengthen the role of the Court as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.