Ban lauds Netherlands’ role in promoting rule of law, international justice

The International Court of Justice. Photo: ICJ

8 April 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today praised the Netherlands for its efforts to promote the rule of law and further international justice, and stressed the importance of strengthening the partnership between the United Nations and the European country.

“This country plays an important and constructive role around the world. It is a leading progressive force in promoting the rule of law, disarmament, the peaceful settlement of disputes and sustainable development,” Mr. Ban said during a press conference held jointly with the Dutch foreign minister in The Hague.

“This is the capital of the international justice system – and further proof that the Netherlands and the United Nations are working for common goals,” Mr. Ban said, expressing his gratitude to the Netherlands for hosting the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its special tribunal.

Yesterday, Mr. Ban met with the ICJ president and judges and today he highlighted the role that international criminal proceedings have played over the past two decades during a meeting with the presidents of the ICC and special tribunals.

The ICC is the first permanent international court set up to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. The Security Council, the ICC Prosecutor or a State Party can initiate any proceedings, and the Court only acts when countries themselves are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute.

The ICJ – sometimes referred to as the World Court – settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by authorized UN organs or specialized agencies.

Also today, Mr. Ban met with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and commended the Netherlands’ contribution to development cooperation as well as its championing of human rights, including fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The two men also exchanged views on Syria, Mali, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and efforts to combat piracy.

Yesterday, Mr. Ban met with Queen Beatrix, and Lilianne Ploumen, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, whom he thanked for the Netherlands’ support in assisting Syrian refugees.

Later today, Mr. Ban will attend the opening session of the 3rd Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention.


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