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GA/12281
3 November 2020
Seventy-fifth Session, 20th Meeting (AM)

Growing Docket of International Court of Justice Signals Rising Confidence in Its Legitimacy, Say Delegates, as General Assembly Concludes Debate

Several Speakers Support Creation of Trust Fund To Help Young Developing-World Law Graduates Access Judicial Fellows Programme

The General Assembly concluded its debate on the report of the International Court of Justice today, with speakers describing the growing docket of the principal United Nations judicial organ as a sign of rising confidence among Member States in the authority and legitimacy of its judgements and advisory opinions.

Brazil’s representative said the Court facilitates preventative diplomacy by “fostering dialogue through the common language of international law”.   Noting the geographical spread and varied subject matter of its pending cases, he said that such a high level of activity testifies to the Court’s renewed vitality and its universal role in promoting justice.

Malaysia’s representative, in similar vein, noted that the Court’s advisory opinions, while not binding, carry great legal weight and moral authority.  He specifically cited its landmark 8 July 1996 observation that the use, or threat of use, of nuclear weapons run generally contrary to the rules of international law applicable to armed conflict.

Germany’s delegate, pointing out that the Court’s functioning depends on consensus among its States parties, emphasized the need to recognize its rulings as compulsory and to comply with its decisions.  Even if decisions go against national interests, respect for international opinions are in the national interests of all, he stressed.

Iran’s representative said his country has twice brought cases against the United States to the Court relating to sanctions and the freezing of Iranian assets.  Regrettably, that country is defying the Court’s authority by failing to comply with provisional measures requiring it to lift impediments to the shipment of food, medicines and other essential items, he added.

Bangladesh’s representative, meanwhile, urged Myanmar to fully implement provisional measures laid down by the Court after the Gambia initiated legal proceedings under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide regarding Myanmar’s Rohingya minority.

Rwanda’s representative, affirming that “peace through law is possible”, welcomed the ever‑increasing confidence – especially among developing States – in the Court’s ability to settle disputes impartially.  He also reiterated calls for the Security Council to make greater use of the Court as a source of advisory opinions and interpretation of relevant norms of international law.

Several delegates supported a proposal - to be put before the General Assembly’s current session – to establish a trust fund that would make it possible for more young law graduates from developing countries to participate in the Court’s Judicial Fellows Programme.

The Assembly began its consideration of the Court’s annual report (document A/75/4) on 2 November, following the adoption of its annual resolution on the International Criminal Court.  (See Press Release GA/12240.)

Also speaking today were representatives of the Netherlands, Guatemala, Singapore, Philippines, India, Spain, Croatia, Georgia, Romania, Argentina, Honduras, Qatar, Chile, Brazil, Japan, Sudan, Cyprus, China, Senegal, Ecuador, Viet Nam, Ukraine, France, Mexico, Peru, Egypt, Nicaragua and the United Arab Emirates.

The Observer for the State of Palestine also spoke.

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply were representatives of the Russian Federation, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 5 November, to take up, among other items, the report of the Human Rights Council and draft resolutions on strengthening the United Nations system and on the seventy‑fifth anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Statements

SARA OFFERMANS (Netherlands) noted that financial constraints have kept universities in developing countries from nominating law graduates for the Judicial Fellowship Programme.  As a result, the Netherlands, together with four other States, is co‑facilitating a resolution to establish a trust fund for that Programme to ensure representation of all the world’s legal traditions and allow graduates from all States and regions.  She went on to emphasize the importance of States accepting the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, pointing out that their consent is essential to the Court’s ability to facilitate the resolution of legal disputes between States.  As for the Court’s premises, she acknowledged the urgent need for necessary renovations, saying her country’s Government has made €150 million available for that purpose, including for the temporary relocation of staff.  The Government is working to conclude negotiations concerning ownership of the Peace Plaza and will start the renovations as soon as possible, she said, adding that it will keep the Court well informed of all progress.

EDGAR DANIEL LEAL MATTA (Guatemala) said the trust that Member States placed in the Court by referring contentious cases to it reflects its vital role in the global order, particularly in building international law.  Noting that numerous conflicts have occurred over time, with many being tackled by force and resulting in many lives lost, he said the Court aims to resolve such conflicts at the international level by deliberating contentious cases.  It is seeking a long-lasting settlement between Guatemala and Belize, currently establishing time limits for the establishment of memorials by Guatemala and Belize.  Adding that relations continued to be strengthened between both countries, he said adding that a conclusive solution will bring economic and political benefits for both.  He called upon Member States to follow through on their financial commitments to enable the Court to continue its valuable work of resolving disputes.

BURHAN GAFOOR (Singapore) noted that the Court is busier than ever, with a docket covering diverse areas of public international law and involving parties from all over the world, including eight from South‑East Asia.  “In short, interest in the Court is at an all‑time high.”  He said that Singapore is among five Member States that will submit a draft resolution on the establishment of a trust fund for the Court’s Judicial Fellows Programme, to benefit nationals of developing countries.  He added that he looks forward to further information about the Court’s relocation to temporary premises, prompted by the presence of asbestos at its permanent quarters in The Hague, and hopes it will have what it requires to efficiently and seamlessly pursue its work.  Singapore also appreciates how the Court has harnessed technology to discharge its judicial functions amid the COVID‑19 pandemic, he said.

CHRISTOPH HEUSGEN (Germany), noting that 2020 marks the seventy‑fifth anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations, said the Court is the DNA of legitimate order and the prohibition of force in international relations.  The Court plays a paramount role in seeking the peaceful settlement of conflicts through its proceedings and also offers an advisory role, yet its functioning is based on the consensus of the States parties, he pointed out.  The Court’s rulings must be recognized as compulsory, he said, emphasizing that States parties must comply with its decisions.  It is also imperative that other international bodies and courts accept the Court’s legally binding decisions.  Even if decisions go against national interests, respect for international opinions are in the national interests of all, he stressed, expressing Germany’s support for the Council to more frequently request that the Court issue advisory opinions.

MARIA ANGELA ABRERA PONCE (Philippines), associating herself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said the annual dialogue between the Assembly and the Court takes on more meaning during the seventy‑fifth year of the Charter of the United Nations.  The Court, she added, is critical to fulfilling the Organization’s peremptory duty, under Article 1, paragraph 1 of the Charter, “to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, the adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace”.  The 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes asserts the same commitment, she said.  Welcoming the Court’s increasing workload, the expanding subject matter of its cases and the geographical diversity of States bringing cases, she said the Philippines supports adequate funding for the proper functioning of the Court.  It deserves no less, she stressed, pointing out that during the reporting period, the Court issued three judgments and seven procedural orders, indicated provisional measures in one case, and conducted hearings in five others.

UMASANKAR YEDLA (India), recalling the Court’s status as “a court without a case” during the early 1970s, said it is now faced with the “problem of plenty”, whereby it is unable to respond in a timely and effective manner to its growing workload.  Without a significant increase in resources, he warned, the Court will not be able to carry out its designated function as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.  He went on to praise the working methods adopted by the Court in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, and its efforts to ensure global awareness of its decisions through its publications, multimedia offerings and website.  Those sources provide useful information for States wishing to submit a potential dispute to the Court, he noted.

MAJID TAKHT RAVANCHI (Iran), citing the imposition by the United States of unlawful sanctions against his country, said that country’s unacceptable behaviour has intensified since it withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.  After Iran initiated proceedings on 16 July 2018, he recalled, the Court ordered provisional measures requiring the United States to lift impediments on the delivery of food, medicines and other essentials.  Regrettably, that country has failed to comply with the provisional measures and defied the Court’s authority by introducing new sanctions, he pointed out, adding that Iran is a party to another case involving the United States regarding the confiscation of Iranian assets, which the Court ruled to be admissible.

MD MONWAR HOSSAIN (Bangladesh) recalled that the Gambia initiated legal proceedings against Myanmar under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide regarding the Rohingya minority, of whom 1.1 million have fled to Bangladesh.  In response, he said, the Court issued an order indicating provisional measures and stating that the Rohingya appear to constitute a protected group under the Convention.  As an affected country, Bangladesh welcomes the Court’s order and urges Myanmar to fully implement the provisional measures, he emphasized, going on to request that the Court give due consideration to candidates from developing countries in its internship and training programmes.

RICARDO GARCÍA LÓPEZ (Spain) welcomed the wide variety of cases referred to the Court as a demonstration of the confidence that States have in its proceedings.  In addition, the Court’s recent practice might make a significant contribution to the law of international State responsibility, including the protection of obligations of an erga omnes and peremptory nature, he said.  The case, based on a claim by the Gambia against Myanmar, could serve to illustrate the legal contours of the International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, he added.  Welcoming the fact that the Court has not turned its back on human rights in disputes under its jurisdiction, he emphasized that the Court is not an international human rights court of universal scope.  The protection of human rights in international practice can be achieved through other channels in both the universal and regional context, he said, stressing that it is the duty of States to promote formulas that will make the protection of rights more effective.  The proliferation of situations of parallel litigation before different international bodies is a symptom of the complexity of the international legal system but should not pose problems for the unity of public international law, he said.  To avoid conflicting decisions, States should strive to facilitate legal dialogue between different policy sectors and related specialized courts, he stressed.  On the efficiency of the Court’s procedures, he welcomed the recent amendment of the Rules of Procedure and encouraged further ways to strengthen procedural economy without impinging on proper administration of justice.

IVAN ŠIMONOVIĆ (Croatia) said that the Court, as the highest and only global judicial body, contributes to the maintenance of international peace and security and advances economic and social development throughout the world with its judgments and advisory opinions.  Further, its jurisprudence contributes to the promotion and development of international law.  Noting that the Court’s independence, impartiality and integrity guarantee its principal role as global guardian and promoter of the international rules‑based order, he called for a greater gender balance and fair participation by States in its composition.

GIORGI MIKELADZE (Georgia) emphasized the crucial role of the Court in promoting international law globally, pointing out that violations of international law still exist worldwide.  He went on to recall that the Russian Federation has taken control of certain areas of Georgia, emphasizing that it bears full responsibility for violations of human rights in all areas it is currently occupying.  He went on to stress the primacy of international law, urging the international community to continue its commitment to global justice.

ION JINGA (Romania) said the Court stands as a beacon of justice and law at a time when there is a disquieting tendency for some actors to undertake unilateral actions, fomenting instability worldwide.  The international community has a duty to uphold institutions promoting and sustaining the rules‑based global order, committing itself to strengthening the peaceful settlement of disputes, he emphasized.  Alongside Argentina, Netherlands, Senegal and Singapore, , he added, Romania is supporting the initiative to establish a trust fund for the Court’s Judicial Fellowship Programme and co‑facilitating a General Assembly resolution to that end.  He went on to point out that although the Judicial Fellowship Programme is open to applications from all nations, financial constraints have impeded the nomination of law graduates from universities in developing countries.  Romania, therefore, promotes the establishment of a trust fund to finance fellowship awards for meritorious nationals of those countries, he said, adding that such a Fund should function on voluntary contributions from States, international organizations, individuals, corporations and other entities.

MARÍA DEL CARMEN SQUEFF (Argentina) welcomed the Court’s adoption of digital tools and the amendment of its rules of procedure in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, which enabled it to conduct a virtual hearing on the border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela as well as assess pending judicial cases.  She went on to say that the proposed special trust fund will help to improve geographical and linguistic diversity among the Court’s trainees.  Argentina calls upon all Member States to continue to defend and respect international law, she added.

MARY ELIZABETH FLORES (Honduras) said compliance with the decisions of the Court and other international judicial bodies is essential to ensuring peace, harmony and security among peoples and Governments.  Hailing the Court’s efforts to remain efficient despite a growing workload over 20 years, she noted that, in the face of a difficult pandemic, all United Nations entities have been outstanding, including the Court’s secretariat, which has also had to adapt to budgetary limitations.

ALYA AHMED SAIF AL-THANI (Qatar) said the Court’s important work has become more evident in 2020, the seventy‑fifth anniversary of the United Nations and its Charter, of which the Court is in integral part.  Qatar is committed to the Court’s role of peacefully resolving disputes, he added, noting that his country’s history shows that it abides by the Court’s decisions.  Qatar remains committed to the implementation of its decisions, he stressed.

MILENKO ESTEBAN SKOKNIC TAPIA (Chile) said the Court’s valuable efforts have helped to develop international law and its increased activities indicate the greater value that States are placing on its work.  Emphasizing that States need a full guarantee of the Court’s independence, he reaffirmed its jurisdiction in various matters while noting the pending disputes before the Court concerning his own country and Bolivia.  The Court is the main legal body playing a fundamental role in strengthening the peaceful co‑existence of States, he said, urging it to carry out its proceedings more quickly.  Chile recognizes the Court’s efforts to use technological tools during the pandemic to disseminate information about its activities, he added, urging States to provide adequate funding to enable the Court to carry out its work.

ROBERT KAYINAMURA (Rwanda), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said the authority and influence of the Court are unmatched by any other international judicial body.  “Peace through law is possible,” he said, urging Member states to continue to seek judicial resolutions to conflicts and disputes between them through the Court.  Noting that many conflicts and other sources of suffering have been avoided, he welcomed the ever‑increasing confidence – especially among developing States – in the Court’s ability to settle disputes impartially.  Reiterating calls on the Security Council to seriously consider Article 96 of the Charter of the United Nations and to make greater use of the Court as a source of advisory opinions and of interpretation of relevant norms of international law, he pledged Rwanda’s unequivocal support to the Court and its work.

SYED MOHAMAD HASRIN AIDID (Malaysia), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said the Court’s diverse subject matter demonstrates the universal character of its jurisdiction, adding that the growing number of cases before it shows the greater confidence of Member States.  Malaysia has shown its own commitment to the peaceful settlement of international disputes through its sovereignty cases over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan, and sovereignty claims over Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge, he said.  The Court’s advisory opinions, despite having no binding force, carry great legal weight and moral authority, he emphasized, noting that they clarify and develop international law while maintaining and strengthening peaceful relations among Member States.  For example, Malaysia recalls the Court’s 8 July 1996 advisory opinion on the question:  “Is the threat or use of nuclear weapons in any circumstance permitted under international law?”.  For the first time in history, he said, the Court recognized that the threat or use of nuclear weapons is generally contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, particularly the rules and principles of humanitarian law.  With that opinion, the Court set legal parameters whereby the use of nuclear weapons indeed ignores customary international law and international treaties, he noted, calling upon relevant parties to observe and respect the recommendations and conclusions set out in the Court’s advisory opinions.

RONALDO COSTA FILHO (Brazil) said that the Court facilitates preventative diplomacy and cooperation by fostering dialogue through the common language of international law.  As well, its jurisprudence provides guidance to States in the interpretation of international norms.  Noting the diverse geographical spread and varied subject matter in the Court’s pending cases, he said that this high level of activity demonstrates the renewed vitality of the Court and its universal role in promoting justice.  He also praised the Court’s working methods during the COVID‑19 pandemic and its outreach efforts, including its promotion of geographic and linguistic diversity among legal practitioners participating in its Judicial Fellows Programme.

KAWASE TARO (Japan) praised the Court’s flexibility and efforts in response to COVID‑19, as well as its ongoing efforts to review its procedures and working methods amid the pandemic.  While the international community had numerous peaceful means of dispute settlement, the Court occupied a special and central place among them, he said, highlighting the increasing numbers of cases being brought before the Court and the fact that more and more States supported its legal wisdom.  He also noted that Japan became a State party to the Court’s Statute in 1954, two years before it joined the United Nations and that it has accepted its compulsory jurisdiction since 1958.  He also voiced support for the establishment of a trust fund for the Judicial Fellows Programme, aimed at broadening the diversity of counsel and advocates appearing before the Court.

ELSADIG ALI SAYED AHMED (Sudan), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said the International Court of Justice allows the international community to resolve disputes peacefully, which bolsters the rule of law and furthers the aims of the United Nations.  The rule of law is an essential precondition for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as well as upholding fundamental human rights.  The Court’s role was now more important than ever, with an increasing number of States bringing their disputes to its attention.  Its importance is also reflected by its annual report, he said, which emphasizes the interest of States.  That should encourage Member States to strengthen their political and financial support for the Court.

ANDREAS MAVROYIANNIS (Cyprus) said the settlement of disputes by peaceful means is one of the greatest success stories of the United Nations as it commemorates its seventy‑fifth anniversary.  The enhancement of international rule of law is fundamental to the reinforcement of multilateralism, maintenance of peace and security and protection of human rights.  Despite its increasing workload over the years, the Court has admirably managed to fulfil its task, with Member States placing more trust in it to settle their disputes.  Adding that compliance with the Court’s judgments strongly motivates States to come before it, he said it was imperative that its decisions were universally accepted and implemented, without any exceptions.  It was also of utmost importance, in the current difficult financial situation of the United Nations, to ensure the Court has the means and technological tools to fulfil its functions fully and seamlessly.

GENG SHUANG (China) said that the Court has, over the years, addressed 151 contentious cases and issued 28 advisory opinions involving States on all five continents.  Faced with new circumstances, the international community must rigorously maintain the rule of law and uphold multilateralism.  The Court should continue to carry out its mandate in accordance with the Charter.  A steady increase in the number of cases and advisory opinions in recent years demonstrates the international community’s growing confidence in the Court.  He hoped that the Court will respect the right of States to decide for themselves how to resolve disputes, he said, adding that the Court should be provided with sufficient resources commensurate with its status.

CHEIKH NIANG (Senegal), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said the increased number of diverse Court decisions reveals States’ preference for the peaceful settlement of disputes.  That diversity was evident in geographic representation as well as the expanding type of issues, such as human rights and the protection of the environment.  Despite the pandemic, the Court has been disseminating its work through publications, multimedia tools and technology.  He also said that he supported the creation of a trust fund to make the Judicial Fellowship Programme more accessible to young law graduates from around the world.

IRINA ALEXANDRA BARBA BUSTOS (Ecuador), associating herself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said the Court’s work lays down the conditions by which international treaties can be maintained, adding that adherence to the rule of law is the basis for the peaceful settlement of disputes and security.  The Court’s increased caseload and the contentious matters it is handling, which impact four different continents, indicate the universality of its work.  It was necessary for the Court have all necessary resources and funds.

DINH QUY DANG (Viet Nam), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said the Court was created to function as an indispensable organ in resolving judicial and legal questions brought, handling cases varying from law of the sea to conflicts and human rights.  It was, therefore, essential to ensure the quality of the Court’s opinions, he said, stressing the importance of the Court’s impartiality in living up to its exemplary judgements.  Adding that peace and security cannot be maintained without international law, he said all nations must respect the international legal body in implementing its orders.

YURIY VITRENKO (Ukraine) emphasized that provisional measures ordered by the Court to safeguard the rights of parties are binding and create international legal obligations for the States to which they pertain.  However, not all States respect these orders.  During its occupation of Crimea, the Russian Federation has directed a campaign of cultural erasure against the Crimean Tartars, including unlawful detentions, suppression of cultural gatherings and the disfavoring of this community’s media outlets.  He pointed out that, as of 30 June, the “Russian occupation authority” has repeatedly announced new criminal charges against leaders of the Crimean Tartar community.  Further, the 2019‑2020 academic year has seen a further decline in the number of Crimean schoolchildren educated in the Ukrainian language.  He called on the international community to urge the Russian Federation to abide by international law.

BRICE FODDA (France) said that the Court remains an essential institution for the promotion of peace and the international legal order and, signifying its continued importance and relevance, has seen an increase in contentious cases over the last several decades.  The Court’s exercise of its advisory function – while not binding and separate from its judgments – allows for better understanding of international law and affirms its authority in this area.  He supported the establishment of a trust fund to improve the geographic and linguistic diversity of the Judicial Fellows Programme and to allow all universities, including those with limited resources, to provide the Court with researchers based on the talent and merit of these individuals.

JUAN SANDOVAL MENDIOLEA (Mexico) expressed concern that less than half of Member States accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.  Due to the development and consolidation of international law, it was important for the entire international community to adhere to its decisions, especially as the Court contributes to the peaceful solution of disputes.  Not only should all States and other entities, including the General Assembly and Security Council, heed its political decisions, but the Secretary‑General should request advisory opinions from the Court.  Adding that order and the rule of law depends on compliance with the Court’s rulings, he stressed that non‑compliance puts international stability at risk.  He also noted that the Court has handled almost 200 cases since its inception, preventing them from escalating to other forms and taking on different tones.

LUIS UGARELLI (Peru) said the Court’s opinions help clarify international law and resolve disputes between States.  It was important to respect the rulings of the Court, he stressed, commending the efficiency of the magistrates, faced with a greater volume of cases and more responsibility.  The General Assembly should meet the Court’s financing needs.  He also saluted the measures taken by the Court during the pandemic to carry out its work and protect the health of its employees, adding his thanks to the Netherlands for its commitment and support as the host country.

AHMED ABDELAZIZ AHMED ELGHARIB (Egypt), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said the recent reporting period displays the Court’s increased activity and its diverse content of subject matter, ranging from maritime law to human rights.  In addition, the Court has improved its working methods even during the pandemic.  Through its jurisdiction in more than 300 treaties, the Court has helped clarify international law.  He also noted that Egypt followed the Court’s peaceful resolution of disputes in 1957 when it accepted the Court’s compulsory jurisdictional decision regarding the Suez Canal.  In addition, his country has joined many conventions that turn to the Court to resolve disputes, he said, urging all countries to do the same.

JAIME HERMIDA CASTILLO (Nicaragua), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, stated that the Court must not only provide jurisdiction in matters of which it is seized, but also the expertise required for certain disputes.  Citing the Court’s ability to appoint independent experts to support its work in technical, complex advisory matters as an example, he said the latter function has been directly affected by budget cuts.  He cautioned Member States to remember, when making budget decisions, that without the Court’s work the international judicial system would collapse, and trust therein disappear.  He also urged an increase in voluntary contributions to the trust fund to assist States with the settlement of disputes, noting that the costs of certain proceedings have been imposed on litigant nations, many of them developing countries.

HESSA MUNEER MOHAMMED RASHED ALATEIBI (United Arab Emirates), also speaking for Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, emphasized that the joint declaration by the four countries to close their airspace to aircraft registered in Qatar is legitimate due to that country’s support of terrorism and violent extremism.  Noting that the case is still pending in the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization, she urged Member States not to discuss the issue before a decision is rendered.  Concerning Qatar’s claims about her country’s implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, she rejected the allegations as a false, unacceptable way to score political points.  Because the Court has not issued a judgment regarding the appeal by the United Arab Emirates, it has not yet decided the merits of the case, she said, stressing that any measures taken by her country have been in accordance with international law, including the International Convention.

MAJED BAMYA, Observer for the State of Palestine, described the defiance shown towards international judicial institutions as the most prominent shortcoming in the edifice built after the Second World War.  Calling upon all States to accept the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction, which enforces the Charter, he said that despite tremendous challenges, the Court provides a critical component to the peaceful settlement of disputes.  He welcomed the Court’s capacity to issue advisory opinions and called upon the Council to better use that option.  Noting that some stress the non‑binding nature of advisory opinions, he said that is a fundamental misunderstanding of the Court’s role and authority as well as international law.  In delivering its opinions, the Court relies on the rules of international law and the peremptory norms all States are obligated to observe, he pointed out.  It states the law and as such dictates what is a legal, and what is illegal, behaviour.  When States disregard that determination, they are knowingly choosing to act illegally, he emphasized.  Recalling that it has been 16 years since the Court issued its advisory opinion on the illegal wall built by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, he pointed out that instead of abiding by that opinion, Israel has relentlessly pursued its illegal policies, including settlement activities.  He called upon all States to abide by their obligations, as per the determination of the Court and relevant United Nations resolutions.

Right of Reply

The representative of the Russian Federation, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, responded to Ukraine’s statements by stressing that States should not use the agenda item as a platform for spreading propaganda.

The representative of Qatar, noting that the United Arab Emirates has illegally expelled Qatari nationals, said those actions constitute discrimination as they are based on the citizenship of the individual in question.  Furthermore, the United Arab Emirates has launched international media campaigns to tarnish Qatar’s image and to prohibit any form of cooperation therewith, he added, emphasizing that the prohibition against the entry of Qatari aircraft into the airspace of certain States is especially serious in light of the COVID‑19 pandemic.

The representative of the United Arab Emirates said that, although Qatar claims willingness to resolve the crisis, it has taken no tangible steps towards that end and has not acted in good faith.  Instead, Qatar has propagated lies and misinformation while providing media platforms that terrorists use to propagate hate speech, she said, stressing it should match words with action.

The representative of Qatar said the United Arab Emirates is trying to politicize the General Assembly’s work at the expense of the Court’s report.  Qatar has a clear role in combating terrorism and extremism, he insisted, adding that the United Arab Emirates is pursuing narrow national interests in Somalia and Yemen, compromising the territorial integrity of those States.

For information media. Not an official record.