Secretary-General's remarks at the Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Cooperation for the Rule of Law at the International Level
New York, 27 September 2013
I am pleased to attend this Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement. I commend the Islamic Republic of Iran for its leadership, and for bringing us together today.
I welcome your decision to discuss the rule of law at the international level.
Last year, I was honoured to attend the Sixteenth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran. You called for a balance in developing the national and international dimensions of the rule of law. And you stressed the need for greater attention to the rule of law at the international level.
The Non-Aligned Movement has taken important steps forward in this discussion. I am grateful that many of you personally attended our High-Level Meeting on the Rule of Law at this time last year. I appreciate your contributions to the powerful Political Declaration leaders adopted.
The Declaration recognized that the rule of law has a cross-cutting impact on peace and security, development and human rights. For years, the Non-Aligned Movement has stressed the indivisibility of these three pillars of the United Nations. The Declaration also forged a balance between the importance of the rule of law at the national and international levels. This is a tribute to the work of the NAM.
Today’s meeting is an important opportunity to ensure that while we call on States to uphold the rule of law domestically, we do the same in our international relations. The imperative of democracy and equality should hold true within and among countries.
In these turbulent times, the United Nations Charter must guide all of our efforts to keep peace between our nations. Article 33 gives us a range of rule of law tools for the pacific settlement of disputes. NAM countries and the United Nations have used these tools to achieve meaningful results. We have used commissions of inquiry, good offices and special envoys to initiate dialogue and pave the way for mediation. This has saved countless lives.
For decades, the NAM has affirmed the primary importance of human rights. All States must respect the wider body of international law, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and human rights treaties. International humanitarian law safeguards the protection of innocent civilians in all conflicts. It is a cornerstone of our common humanity. We must hold accountable all those responsible for serious breaches of international humanitarian and human rights law. The Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court has been widely ratified to ensure this accountability.
Upholding the rule of law at the international level is our collective responsibility.
The rule of law at the international level is not limited to relations among States. It must also guide our international structures. We must ensure that the rule of law is respected within the United Nations and in other international institutions.
The United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement have enjoyed a history of close ties over the past fifty years. Our relationship has been based on our joint defence of common principles, and our joint pursuit of common goals.
I pledge to strengthen this partnership even more in the years to come. You can count on me to advocate for our shared objectives. Together, we can strengthen the rule of law and, in the process, promote peace, development and human rights.
Statements on 27 September 2013
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Guinea [scroll down for French version]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks to the Security Council on the situation on Syria
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Statement by the Middle East Quartet
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message to event on the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute [delivered by Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, UN Legal Counsel, and Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the report of the IPCC Fifth Assessment
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks to Group of Friends Ministerial Meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Annual Coordination Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs [delivered by the Deputy Secretary-General]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks at the Eighth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message to Ministerial Meeting on Enhancing Preventive Strategies for the Responsibility to Protect [delivered by Mr. Adama Dieng, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the death of a peacekeeper for the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message to Global Counter-Terrorism Forum [delivered by Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF)]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks at signing of Declaration on Establishing a Pacific Regional Data Repository for Sustainable Energy For All [as prepared for delivery]
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks at his meeting with Pacific Islands Forum Leaders [as prepared for delivery]
- Stockholm, Sweden, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's video message on launch of IPCC Working Group I Report
- New York, 27 September 2013 - Secretary-General's message on World Tourism Day