Judges urge Security Council to serve interests of all UN Member States

Security Council 2018

Photo/ICJ/Jeroen Bouman A view of the Peace Palace, seat of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, 2005.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The Security Council should act on behalf of the entire United Nations membership rather than prioritizing their own national interests, or those of close allies, international court judges said on Thursday, as the 15-member body debated how to effectively counter numerous threats to world peace.

“Against a backdrop of grave threats and growing turmoil in many regions, the unity of this body and the serious commitment of the entire international community will be crucial in preventing human suffering and defending our common humanity,” declared Maria Luiza Viotti, Chef de Cabinet, delivering a statement on behalf of UN Secretary‑General António Guterres.

She noted that the UN Charter does not rule out using any specific means of settling international disputes, leaving Member States free to choose from a range of different tools; including negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration and judicial settlement.

UN Photo/Evan Schneider
Andrzej Duda, the President of Poland, presides over a Security Council meeting on the maintenance of international peace and security as Maria Luiza Viotti, Chef de Cabinet, delivers a statement on behalf of UN Secretary‑General António Guterres on 17 May 2018.

Therefore, the Council could adopt a more open-minded approach, such as recommending that States settle disputes through special settlement mechanisms; a power it has rarely employed.

Where States agree to use the International Court of Justice, the Council should ensure that its judgment is properly observed, she said, calling on Member States to consider accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court.

“International law is foundational to this Organization and the Security Council has a special role to play in ensuring that it is respected”, she said.

Also briefing the Council was Hisashi Owada, Senior Judge and President Emeritus of the International Court of Justice, who said that the crucial question is how the Council and the Court should work together to resolve disputes.

UN Photo/Manuel Elias
Hisashi Owada, Senior Judge and President Emeritus of the International Court of Justice, addresses the Security Council during a debate on the maintenance of international peace and security on 17 May 2018.

The Court’s legal opinion has helped to inform the Council on choosing a means of resolving disputes, as was the case in 1970, with legal resolution of South Africa’s continued presence in Namibia.

He said that the Council could seek the legal opinion of the Court on issues that often are at the root of the conflict; as it did following the Balkan wars of the 1990s, which led to the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

To strengthen cooperation between the two bodies, he said, the Council could use its discretionary power more often to refer legal disputes to the Court, and consider making more use of the Court’s legal advisory function.

He noted that 15 of the 26 requests for advisory opinions came from the General Assembly, and the Council has sought out the Court only on a limited number of cases, such as Israel’s construction of a border fence in 2000 and Kosovo’s declaration of independence, in 2008.

International courts were never designed to try any more than a small number of alleged perpetrators…officials in national jurisdictions must take on the lion’s share of this work – Judge Theodor Meron

Theodor Meron, President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, said that international criminal justice “is still very much in its infancy, and it is in a highly vulnerable stage of development at present.”

“International courts were never designed to try any more than a small number of alleged perpetrators,” he said, and officials in national jurisdictions must take on “the lion’s share of this work.”

Mr. Meron suggested the Council develop and adopt objective criteria to assess all credible allegations of international crimes, and serve the interests of the UN membership as a whole, rather than prioritizing their own interests or those of their strategic allies.

UN Photo/Evan Schneider
Theodor Meron, President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, addresses the Security Council during a debate on the maintenance of international peace and security on 17 May 2018.

He also encouraged the Council to simply refer possible violations of international law to appropriate judicial actors for further action, rather than being a gate-keeper and “risking becoming stymied in debates about whether or not egregious atrocities occurred in any particular situation or who might be responsible.”

Today’s debate was chaired by Andrzej Duda, the President of Poland, who urged States and the international community to reject the temptation to place force above law, and fear above trust.

“If we call an act of aggression a ‘conflict’, without properly defining the victim and the aggressor; if we call a threat a ‘challenge’ without defining the source of that threat… then we are helpless in terms of selecting legal steps to react,” he said.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

The Banking Union may lead to a Germanic Europe

Do the EU policies on agro-food smell?

Eurozone governed by an obscure body and gray procedures

China Unlimited – The chinese tourism in Lisbon

Eurobarometer: Not a single answer about what the Banking Union will cost to citizens

EFSF/ESM boss tells half truths about Troika’s doings

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) on the arrest of Turkish Medical Association leaders

China is the first non-EU country to invest in Europe’s €315 billion Plan

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

Security Council urged to act with ‘one strong voice’ on raft of ills plaguing Middle East and North Africa

Disintegrating Tories will void May’s pledge for Brexit deal in seven weeks

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change-the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, yet overlooked in climate negotiations?” IFMSA wonders from COP21 in Paris

What living abroad does to your self-awareness

Asylum: deal to update EU fingerprinting database

Eurozone plans return to growth

Why lay people don’t expect anything good from G20

Commission criticised member states on blocking financial transaction tax

Does the Erasmus program really contribute to the construction of a solid EU identity?

Italy’s rescue operation Mare Nostrum shuts down with no real replacement. EU’s Triton instead might put lives at risk

Strong multilateral institutions key to tackling world’s dramatic challenges, UN chief says In Moscow

ECB describes in detail how it exploits the poor

MWC 2016 LIVE: Mobile World Congress shows off planes, trams and automobiles

Depression is the no. 1 cause of ill health and disability worldwide

Junker for Commission President: What were the stakes in this affair

ILO and EIB join forces for more and better quality employment

How tomorrow’s buildings will make you – and the planet – healthier

From drought to floods in Somalia; displacement and hunger worsen, says UN

The Americans are preparing for the next financial crisis

2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health 21-23 February 2017 in Sri Lanka

When is Berlin telling the truth about the EU banking union?

The consequences of Brexit seen by a European young entrepreneur

Commission imposes a fine of €561 million on Microsoft

UN Environment Assembly 2017: where the world convenes to #BeatPollution

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Changing the Face of Europe

Celebrate love, strengthen partnerships to end AIDS epidemic by 2030 says UN agency

Germany tries to save Europe from war between Ukraine and Russia

Millennials (and Gen X) – Here are the steps you should take to secure your financial future

Rehn ready to sacrifice part of the real economy

Easier Schengen Visas for non-EU holiday makers: A crucial issue for south Eurozone countries

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “No other problem has jeopardised the EU as much as the refugee question” Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, cries out from Davos

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

NATO summit, Brussels, 11-12/07/2018

The issue of mental health for modern young doctors

The European Youth Forum needs better signal for its “call” for Quality Internships

Medschool 4.0: how to succeed in the smart revolution of healthcare

CHINA: five letters that could mean…

Campaign kicks off with High-level Event on #FairInternships

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ford trumpets new in-vehicle system, “fundamentally rethinks” transportation

This Syrian national has been trapped at Kuala Lumpur airport for 3 months

The EU Commission fails to draw the right conclusions about corruption

What fighting malaria can teach us about linking purpose and business

The G7 fails to agree on growth but protects the big banks

‘Agile’, multilateral response vital to combat terrorism – UN chief Guterres

Why the West supports the yen’s devaluation and Japanese over-indebtedness

Macron crowned king of Europe in Washington D.C.; just a working meeting with Trump for Merkel

EU to fail 2050 Green targets due to lack of European citizens’ engagement

What Merkel and Macron are to tell Trump in Davos?

Catalonia secessionist leader takes Flemish ‘cover’; Spain risks more jingoist violence

A neo-liberal toll free Paradise for the super rich and tax hell for wage earners

Good Governance in developing modern quality infrastructure systems

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s