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Source: International Court of Justice (ICJ)
Cameroon
28 January 2004


NOTE VERBALE FROM THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS, REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON,
DATED 28 JANUARY 2004
[Translation]


The Ministry of External Relations of the Republic of Cameroon presents its compliments to the Registry of the International Court of Justice and, referring to the letter of 19 December 2003 whereby the Government of the Republic of Cameroon was asked to state its views on the question referred to the Court by General Assembly resolution A/RES/ES-10/14, has the honour to inform it of the following:

The Government of the Republic of Cameroon is deeply committed to peace in the Near East and thinks that peace will become possible once a just solution has been achieved for the Palestinian question and for co-existence in full security of the State of Israel and all neighbouring Arab countries.

This is the spirit in which the Government of Cameroon has always welcomed and supported all initiatives taken in favour of a just, lasting peace in the Near East. That is true of the most recent road map accepted by the two disputing parties, with mediation by the Quartet (the United Nations, European Union, United States of America and Russian Federation). Security Council resolution 1515 endorsed that road map, as it appears to be an apt mechanism for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Moreover, in resolution 1515 the Security Council endorsed the road map as “the appropriate dispute resolution mechanism”. The Government of Cameroon considers that the General Assembly’s request for an opinion of the Court does not effectively take account of the mechanism sponsored by the United Nations and endorsed by the Security Council and, regrettably, isolates one aspect of the conflict, i.e., the temporary construction of a wall for security reasons, even though this act is inextricably linked with other aspects of the same dispute. Accordingly, the request thus submitted threatens to undermine the bases of an initiative (the road map) which contemplates an approach encompassing all elements of the Israeli-Palestinian problem. Moreover, the request by the United Nations General Assembly takes no account of Security Council resolution 1515, in which the Security Council stated that it remained seized of the matter.

The Government of the Republic of Cameroon remains firmly convinced that the international community’s efforts in respect of this conflict should centre on promoting dialogue and negotiation. The international community has recognized that the resolution of this conflict, in all its aspects, requires a negotiated agreement, as provided in Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). The principle is reiterated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in the conclusion to his report pursuant to General Assembly resolution ES-10/13. After analysing all aspects of the problem, he concludes as follows:

“After so many years of bloodshed, dislocation and suffering, it should be clear to all of us, as well as to the parties, that only through a just, comprehensive and lasting peace settlement based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) can the security of both Palestinians and Israelis be assured.” Without calling into question its concerns in respect of the security wall, the Government of the Republic of Cameroon expresses its belief that an isolated action seising the Court of the matter, without the consent of all parties concerned, cannot help in resolving the conflict in any way. Consequently, it recommends that the rendering of an opinion on this question should be avoided as far as possible, in order to escape the risk of politicization of the International Court of Justice.

The Ministry of External Relations of the Republic of Cameroon avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Registry of the International Court of Justice the assurances of its high consideration.

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