United Nations

Statement by Mrs. Supriya Sadanand Sule, Hon'ble Member of Parliament, on Agenda Item 75 'Report of the International Court of Justice' at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Novembert 05, 2015

Mr. President,

At the outset, I would like to thank Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), for his comprehensive report on the judicial activities of the Court for the period between August 2014 and July 2015. I also thank him and the Vice-President, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf for guiding the work of the Court.

Mr. President,

The Court, as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, is poised to celebrate its 70th anniversary in April next year. The Court is entrusted with the task of peaceful resolution of disputes between the States, which is fundamental for fulfillment of one of the purposes of the United Nations, namely the maintenance of international peace and security. We acknowledge that the Court has fulfilled that task admirably since its establishment, and has acquired a well deserved reputation as an impartial institution maintaining the highest legal standards in accordance with its mandate under the Charter of the United Nations, of which the Statute of the Court is an integral part.

Mr. President,

One of the primary goals of the United Nations, as stated in the Preamble of the UN Charter, is to establish conditions under which justice and respect for international obligations can be maintained. The ICJ, as the only Court with general international law jurisdiction, is uniquely placed to help achieve that goal.

Mr. President,

The report of the Court, contained in document A/70/4, illustrates the importance that the States attach to and the confidence that they repose in the Court. The importance of the Court is also evident from the number, nature and variety of cases that the Court deals with and its ability in so dealing with the complex aspects of public international law.

Mr. President,

The judgments delivered by the ICJ have played an important role in the interpretation and clarification of the rules of international law, as well as, in the progressive development and codification of international law. In the performance of its judicial functions, the Court has remained highly sensitive to political realities and sentiments of States, while acting in accordance with the provisions of the UN Charter, its own Statute and other applicable rules of international law.

During the judicial year 2014-2015, the Court delivered a judgment; held public hearings in two cases; and handed down nine orders. The number of contentious cases on the Court’s docket stands at 12. The universality of the Court is evident from the fact that States from across all the continents submitted their cases to the Court for adjudication.

Mr. President,

The cases before the Court involve a wide variety of subject matters, such as territorial and maritime disputes, environmental damage and conservation of living resources, violation of territorial integrity, violation of international humanitarian law and human rights, genocide, interpretation and application of international conventions and treaties, and interpretation of the Court’s own judgments.

Mr. President,

The Court’s second function is to provide advisory opinion on legal questions referred to it by the organs of the United Nations and specialized agencies. Though no request for its advisory opinion was made during the past judicial year, this function of the Court adds to its important role of clarifying key international legal issues. The report of the Court rightly points out that ‘everything the Court does is aimed at promoting the rule of law’, in particular through its judgments and the advisory opinions.

Mr. President,

It is worth mentioning that the Court ensures the greatest possible global awareness of its decisions through its publications, multimedia offerings and the website, which now features the Court’s entire jurisprudence, as well as, that of its predecessor – the Permanent Court of International Justice. These sources provide useful information for States wishing to submit a potential dispute to the Court.

Mr. President,

We share the concern of the Court concerning problems relating to health risk due to the presence of asbestos in the Peace Palace, and support all efforts required to deal with it.

Finally, Mr. President, India wishes to reaffirm its strong support to the Court and acknowledges the importance that the international community attaches to the work of the Court.

Thank you.


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