Question of Palestine home
26 October 2011
rd plenary meeting
Wednesday, 26 October 2011, 10 a.m.
Mr. Al-Nasser ..............................................................
The meeting was called to order at 10.25 a.m.
Agenda item 72
Report of the International Court of Justice
(Egypt): At the outset, I would like to express Egypt’s appreciation to Judge Hisashi Owada, President of the International Court of Justice, for his comprehensive presentation of the report of the Court on its activities over the past year (A/66/4). I also wish to reaffirm Egypt’s full support for the Court’s key role in ensuring the implementation of the provisions of international law, adjudicating disputes between States and providing advisory opinions to States and international organizations to guide them on how best to carry out their roles and functions.
Since its establishment as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the Court has strengthened important legal principles and rules through its advisory opinions on the
Legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons
(A/51/218, annex), on the
Legal consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
), on the
Accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo
(see A/64/881) and many other decisions on territorial and maritime border disputes, which have and will continue to contribute to the peaceful settlement of disputes around the world, preventing them from escalating into armed conflicts.
Furthermore, Egypt expresses its appreciation for the pioneering role played by the Court in fostering the rule of law at the international level and in promoting a democratic and equitable international order. We stress the need to draw on the experiences of the Court in consolidating established legal rules in many spheres. Among them are the criteria and procedures for accepting new Members into the United Nations, which is relevant to the current discussions on the application by Palestine; the responsibility of States to protect their citizens in accordance with international law; and the distinction between legitimate armed struggle, in the framework of the right to self-determination, and terrorism.
Egypt believes that it is important to provide the Court with the chance to consider the legality of the encroachment by certain principal organs of the Organization on the competence of other principal organs, which are more representative and democratic in nature, contrary to the delicate balance established in the Charter. In the same vein, it is necessary to monitor and assess the implementation of the Court’s judgments, decisions and advisory opinions to enhance international recognition of the moral and legal values of its advisory opinions. Egypt reiterates its proposal to establish a mechanism within the United Nations for that purpose; first, to ensure that, as required under the Charter, States respect the advisory opinions and judgments issued by the Court at the request of one or the other of the principal organs; secondly, to monitor the damages caused by failure to implement opinions and judgments; and thirdly, to adopt modalities for compensating affected States, similar to the one formed to assess the damages caused by the construction of the separation wall in Palestine — which so far still faces major obstacles.
In that regard, it is also important to act on the decision of the League of Arab States in October 2011 to present to the General Assembly a draft resolution requesting an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legal status of the Palestinian and Arab prisoners and detainees in the prisons of Israel, the occupying Power, under the relevant rules of international law, and to reassert their status as prisoners of war and their legitimate right to freedom.
: We have heard the last speaker in the debate on agenda item 72. May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to conclude its consideration of agenda item 72?
It was so decided.
The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room U-506. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.