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Statement by Mr. Xu Hong Chinese Delegate, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China At the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly On Agenda Item 70 Report of the International Court of Justice

2016/10/27

Mr. President,

It gives me great pleasure to speak under the agenda item "Report of the International Court of Justice"(ICJ) at the current session of the General Assembly. At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to express my appreciation to President Abraham of the ICJ for his presentation. My thanks also go to all the judges and staff of the ICJ for their hard work over the past year.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the inaugural sitting of the ICJ. Over the past 70 years, the ICJ, in faithfully implementing its mandate in accordance with the UN Charter and the Statute of the ICJ, has delivered over 120 judgments and issued close to 30 advisory opinions. It has played an important role in the interpretation, application and development of the rules of international law, and in the peaceful settlement of international disputes, thus making its due contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security. The performance of the ICJ may not be perfect, but undoubtedly, as one of the six major organs and the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the ICJ has the authority and influence that cannot be replaced or matched by any other international judicial body.

Reviewing the past, we can see that it is no coincidence that the ICJ has been successful. In exercising its jurisdiction, the Court has always acted prudently and strictly abided by the principle of "consent of states". The judges of the ICJ, who represent major cultures and principal legal systems of the world, have maintained a high level of professionalism, a responsible attitude and a balanced judicial approach. The judges and internal administrative organs such as the Registry have always kept their independence free from external interference and influence. By reporting to the General Assembly and the Security Council on a periodic basis and listening to the views and comments of member states, the ICJ has, to a certain extent, made it possible for the international community to exercise oversight of the Court’s work. All of the above have laid a solid foundation for the ICJ to carry out its high-quality judicial activities on the basis of objectivity and fairness.

Mr. President,

Having traversed a journey of 70 years, the ICJ now stands at a new starting point. The workload of the ICJ has been on the rise, a fact that reflects the trust and expectation of the international community, especially disputing parties. The United Nations and the international community should continue to provide strong support to the ICJ for it to implement its mandate, and such support should, in response to the appeal and concerns of the Court, include ensuring human and financial resources at a level commensurate with the responsibilities and status of the Court.

As a responsible member of the international community, China has always actively promoted peaceful settlement of disputes through friendly consultations. We will continue to safeguard the international order which is based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and to maintain and promote the rule of law at the international level. We are confident that an ICJ that faithfully carries out its mandate according to the UN Charter and its own Statute will continue to serve as the model and guidance for other international judicial bodies and will further contribute to the peaceful settlement of disputes and the maintenance of international peace and security.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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