December 16, 2017

Statement by Ms. Vassiliki Krasa, Attaché, on the Report of the ICJ, 5 November 2015

Report of the International Court of Justice (1 August 2014 – 31 July 2015)

Plenary Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Mr. President,

It is with particular honor and pleasure that the Republic of Cyprus addresses the General Assembly on its consideration of the Report of the International Court of Justice (A/70/4). The Republic of Cyprus attaches great importance to the role and work of the ICJ and to the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in conformity with justice and international law, as provided for in the United Nations Charter.

The occasion offers us the opportunity to commend the Court on its significant work as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and to pay tribute and convey our respect to its President, Judge Ronny Abraham and its members, who serves the Court with dedication and distinction. We are, once again, grateful to the President for his introduction of the Report and for his insightful remarks on the work and functioning of the Court.

Mr. President,

In the role of the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the work of the International Court of Justice bears utmost importance for promotion of the rule of law, friendly relations amongst states, and international peace and security. This role can be best achieved through the universal acceptance of the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court, as recommended by UN General Assembly Resolution 69/123.

The Court’s jurisdiction over disputes has influenced and shaped international law through the peaceful settlement of disputes. With trust in Court’s capacity to deliver justice, in 2002 the Republic of Cyprus made a declaration for recognizing compulsory jurisdiction. To date, we are one of 72 countries in the world that has done so. We call upon states to recognize the jurisdiction of the Court in accordance with the Article 36 of the Statute, thereby promoting and facilitating the International Court of Justice’s ability to maintain and promote the rule of law throughout the world.

 

Mr. President,

It is now widely recognized that the peaceful settlement of disputes within the framework of the Charter, requires an integrated and coordinated approach, combining more than one category of strategies of dispute settlement. A welcome development, in this regard, is the continued and increasing recourse to the International Court of Justice, in parallel with other methods of dispute resolution, thereby emphasizing the role of the Court in the UN’s system for the maintenance of international peace and security and the peaceful settlement of disputes. In particular, the decisions of the ICJ have contributed significantly to the development of the law of the sea.

Our delegation underscores the steps undertaken by the Court to enhance its efficiency in handling the cases. Effective management is pivotal, considering the Court’s increased caseload. We are pleased to note that the 12 cases currently entered in the Court’s list reflect the geographic diversity. The cases come from various regions of the world and cover diverse international law subject matters.

The Republic of Cyprus would like to briefly address key cases of the Court during the past year. Of particular importance are the current contentious proceedings relating to the issues of sovereignty over disputed territories, international law obligation to negotiate in good faith, and maritime delimitation disputes.

The ruling in the case of Certain Activities Carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, is of importance as the issue before the Court is to adjudge upon the sovereignty over the disputed territory and territorial integrity. The pronouncements of the ICJ relating to the issues of occupation and territorial integrity are central to international peace and security. Moreover, of importance are the developments in cases centered on the obligation to negotiate 

The Republic of Cyprus reiterates support for the work of the International Court of Justice and expresses gratitude for its role in promoting rule of law and active role in shaping international law.

Thank you for your attention.