Виступ делегації України на пленарному засіданні ГА ООН щодо звіту Міжнародного суду ООН

Виступ делегації України на пленарному засіданні ГА ООН щодо звіту Міжнародного суду ООН

Mr. President,

We welcome His Excellency Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the International Court of Justice, to the General Assembly and thank him for his comprehensive presentation.

Today’s discussion once again recognized the crucial role that the Court plays in the field of pacific settlement of international disputes and interpretation of the rules of international law.

Impartiality and independence of the ICJ explain the existence of a strong demand for the Court’s consideration of complicated disputes, as well as lay a solid foundation to ensure respect for its decisions. Recently multifaceted issues of international relations, previously untouched by the Court, have been brought to its attention.

This trend is very inspiring, especially given the Security Council’s inability sometimes to reach decisions that would contribute to resolving conflict situations due to the abuse of the “veto right”.

The annual report mentions that 72 out of 193 States-parties to the Statute of the Court have now made a declaration recognizing as compulsory the jurisdiction of the Court. The true willingness of states to put the law in a first place in their international relations and pursue the fundamental approach of respecting the law in relations between nations determines how the Court decisions are implemented. Ukraine supports further expansion of jurisdiction of the Court to a wide range of legal disputes, which may arise between any states.

Mr. President,

As Article 33 of the UN Charter envisages an obligation to settle any international dispute peacefully, Ukraine actively uses mechanisms of international courts and tribunals to settle existing disputes, to protect human rights and to fight against impunity. The ICJ is one of the main tools to this end.

In this regard, Ukraine initiated proceedings in the ICJ against the Russian Federation concerning the Application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. On 19 April this year the Court issued the Order responding to Ukraine’s request for the indication of provisional measures in this case.

The Court indicated the following provisional measures for the Russian Federation, I quote: “To refrain from maintaining or imposing limitations on the ability of the Crimean Tatar community to conserve its representative institutions, including the Mejlis, and to ensure the right for Ukrainian citizens to study Ukrainian language” and “to refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve”, end of quote.

There’s no doubt that the aforementioned order plays an important role in preventing irreparable harm by the Russian Federation to human rights of Ukrainian citizens while this case is pending.

Mr. President,

Non-compliance with the Court’s decisions is recognized as an internationally wrongful act and a breach of various obligations arising ex contract, and of a duty imposed by customary international law. We believe that cases of non-compliance with the ICJ decisions must be thoroughly addressed by the UN system to find a way for compelling states to implement ICJ decisions in good faith.

It is important to recall that the San Francisco Conference considered the possibility to qualify refusal to comply with the decision of the Court as an act of aggression.

We strongly believe that only full implementation of this Order by the Russian Federation will demonstrate the respect by this country for the Court’s judgments and its obligations under international law.

Furthermore, Mr. President, let me underline the importance of the UN voice in this situation, which is clearly reflected in the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Report on “The Situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)”, released on 25 September 2017.

According to the report, I quote: “The human rights situation in Crimea has significantly deteriorated since the beginning of its occupation by the Russian Federation”, end of quote. Moreover, this report also contains recommendations to the Russian Federation to ensure implementation of the measures indicated in the ICJ Order.

As we see, after 6 months, the Russian Federation still neglects its duty to implement all elements of the Order of the Court.

Taking into consideration the ongoing deterioration of the human rights situation in Crimea, Ukraine has already submitted for the consideration of the Third Committee a revised draft resolution “Situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine”, based on the last year’s resolution 71/205 and relevant recommendations of the OHCHR.

Ukraine will highly appreciate all delegations’ valuable support and co-sponsorship of the draft.

Mr. President,

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that the judicial work of the Court is of outmost importance for further promoting and reinforcing the rule of law as part of common efforts to protect the established international order. Taking this opportunity, I want to thank President Abraham and his fellow judges for their efficient efforts in upholding the role of the Court.

I thank you.